Seven-up for Zidane’s men as Bale shines

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Jan 2018 10:13:25



GARETH Bale dragged Real Madrid away from the ignominy of a third straight home defeat in LaLiga by netting a match-turning brace before Deportivo La Coruna collapsed to a 7-1 defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo and, in a more unlikely turn of events, Nacho, also notched doubles to boost under-fire boss Zinedine Zidane.

Loses to Barcelona and Villarreal either side of the mid-season break contributed to leaving Madrid fourth and 19 points off the pace in the title race, and further woes awaited when Adrian Lopez capitalised on slack defending to net a 23rd-minute opener. Amid palpable unrest from the stands, Madrid steadied themselves and centre-back Nacho levelled, before Bale took centre stage.

The Wales star finished exquisitely to give Zidane’s men the lead at the break and he converted Toni Kroos’ corner before the hour to make the points safe.

That Bale is now Madrid’s joint-top scorer in LaLiga with six this season owes much to Ronaldo’s trials in front of goal.
Those were again gruesomely evident until the five-time Ballon d’Or winner followed Luka Modric onto the scoresheet 12 minutes from time and his brave diving header preceded Nacho completing a rout that leaves Deportivo slumped in the relegation zone. Borja Mayoral was preferred in attack alongside Ronaldo and Bale by Zidane and the 20-year-old forward turned Modric’s cross goalwards to draw a fifth-minute stop from Ruben Martinez in the Deportivo goal.

Madrid largely ambled through the opening exchanges, with nothing to show for their meagre efforts, and the Bernabeu faithful whistled their side when they fell behind. Florin Andone’s clever flick on caught out Dani Carvajal and Lucas Perez scooted past a napping Raphael Varane for Adrian to slide home.