Real Madrid 7 – 1 Deportivo de La Coruña – Match Recap – As it Happened

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Nacho Fernandez (R) of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their opening goal with teammate Gareth Bale (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Nacho Fernandez (R) of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their opening goal with teammate Gareth Bale (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid made short work of Deportivo, putting up seven goals after going down early. Here’s your recap of Los Blancos’ dominant performance at home.


There were plenty of surprises in the lineup against Deportivo. For one, many thought we would see the return of the BBC (Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano). Well, we did see the BBC, but this time it was Borja Mayoral in the stead of Benzema.

Another surprise came in the form of Isco being left on the bench. It looked like Zidane had finally grown weary of the 4-4-2 Diamond option, and wanted to try switching to a 4-3-3. The problem is, that this left no place for Isco in the lineup, with Casemiro, Modric, and Kroos maintaining their place as the midfield trio.

First Half

Real Madrid looked intense and dedicated in the opening minutes. Madrid were fierce, and looked ready to hunt for the opening goal. Bale, Modric, and Carvajal formed a dangerous trio on the right, and consistently tested Depor’s defense.

On the left hand side, Marcelo was a constant threat, continually testing Deportivo with crosses in to the heads of Mayoral and Ronaldo. Unfortunately, the ball was just not falling to Madrid’s attackers, and by around the 20th minute, these crosses began to look a bit desperate.

Despite some good attacking pressure, Real Madrid were still allowing Deportivo through, with Andone, Perez, and Adrian posing a threat on the break. Depor won a throw-in deep into Madrid’s half on the right side of Madrid’s defense. Carvajal went down easily, allowing a quick ball through to Andone who got past Varane. Keylor had very little help, as Marcelo and Nacho were both caught out by the quick throw-in play. Andone found Adrian in the box, and Deportivo snatched the lead, as the Bernabéu began letting their discontent be heard.

That goal seemed to wake Madrid up, like a fighter who sees red after getting punched in the face, and Madrid began swinging. Marcelo turned it up another notch and began creating more dangerous movement in the box with his dribbling. Nacho picked up the ball, passed to Marcelo, who dribbled in and then smartly cut back to Nacho. Nacho slotted the ball away, and with that, Madrid were tied.

After drawing blood, Madrid were out to hunt. Madrid poured the pressure on, and looked hell-bent at grabbing the go-ahead goal before halftime. Sure enough, Marcelo placed another dangerous cross into the area. It went over Ronaldo’s head, who went down after a bit of soft contact looking for a penalty that would not be. Fortunately, the ball instead landed at Gareth Bale’s feet, who curled in a delightful shot into the top left corner, 2-1 to Madrid. It was a beautiful goal for Gareth who absolutely loves scoring against Deportivo.

Madrid kept their foot on the gas and continued to test Deportivo until the end of the half. It wasn’t a perfect 45 minutes of football, but Madrid did really well to take command after going down. Madrid showed some desire and intensity that has been lacking for much of this season.

Second Half

Real Madrid continued to look dominant, with Gareth Bale leading the way. Madrid were pouring the pressure on, and it resulted in a corner kick. Toni Kroos placed a pin-point accurate cross into the head of a leaping Bale who headed the ball into the back of the net.

Madrid kept hunting, and the goals kept coming. First, it was Luka Modric, who put in a delightful ball into the bottom right corner after Bale crossed to Ronaldo who clipped a cheeky back-heel into the Croatian.

Finally, Cristiano Ronaldo managed to get on the scoresheet, after producing some really unselfish play the whole night and getting unlucky with the shots he was taking. Bale played the ball to Casemiro in the half-space who crossed to an open Ronaldo at the far past. Ronaldo blasted it in, and Madrid went up 5-1.

Ronaldo managed to bag a brace after Lucas Vazquez dropped a beautiful cross into the center of the box. Ronaldo got his head to it, but also managed to get a boot to the face. Ronaldo’s face was gushing blood, and had to walk off the pitch to receive treatment. After asking one of the medico’s for a phone to look at his injury, Ronaldo decided his time on the pitch was done, and walked down the tunnel.

Despite having only ten men on the pitch, Real Madrid decided they weren’t done, and managed to put another goal into the back of the net. This time it was Nacho, who also wanted to bag a brace against Deportivo (Bale, Ronaldo, and Nacho all scored two). Nacho did well to bring the ball down in Depor’s box, and put the ball past a helpless Ruben.  7-1 Real Madrid, and that completed the thrashing.

Concluding thoughts

Real Madrid conceded first in this match, and then rallied to put  a boatload of goals in the back of the net. That’s not something we’ve seen much this season. And it’s something that should give Real Madrid fans some hope moving forward.

There were some other really encouraging signs for Madrid against Deportivo. Casemiro, who has been poor in the past month, played really well, saving Madrid’s blushes cleanly when Deportivo managed to break through. Marcelo, whose crosses have often looked desperate, finally began to dial in his pass accuracy, and produced some truly delightful football.

Next: Why the return of the BBC is crucial for Real Madrid

Madrid also looked like they may have found some tactical solutions to the problems that have been plaguing them. Zidane dropped the 4-4-2 diamond, and opted for a 4-3-3. This allowed Real Madrid a much greater degree of penetration. Madrid were also much more active in the half-spaces, creating some serious danger in these areas throughout the night (Nacho’s first goal and Ronaldo’s first goal come to mind here). That could spell trouble for Isco who doesn’t have a natural place in Madrid’s 4-3-3.

This match could be a turning point for Real Madrid. It’s true that Deportivo aren’t the most ferocious of opponents. But still, it’s been a long time since Madrid have looked that dominant at home. Let’s hope Madrid can build on this big win.

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