Real Madrid put their El Clasico defeat behind them with an attacking masterclass at the Santiago Bernabeu as ten-man Sevilla were throttled in a 7-3 thriller.
Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema got two goals each while Cristiano Ronaldo took the plaudits with a hat-trick as Carlo Ancelotti’s side provided incredible entertainment.
Ivan Rakitic got two for Sevilla and could have had a hat-trick with a missed penalty, but Unai Emery’s men were ultimately out-classed despite Carlos Bacca also getting on the score-sheet.
Ronaldo came into the game seething following some comments made about him by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and replied to his critics with an impressive performance for the Galacticos.
The match started in a frantic pace as Isco could have put Madrid in front after four minutes, but his clever touch wasn’t matched by the finish as he dragged his shot wide from 15 yards. The Spanish midfielder continued to be a pain for the Sevilla defence and had a hand in the opening goal as Bale grabbed his first goal at Madrid’s legendary stadium.
Isco burst forward past a struggling Sevilla midfield before sliding in a nice pass for Benzema and the French striker showed incredible composure to pick out Bale with a low cross. The summer signing from Tottenham Hotspur was finally making his first home start for Real and took to the occasion like a duck to water with a superb left-footed finish into the top corner.
Bale continued to sparkle as he went close with two efforts in quick succession, but it was a fortunate deflection that gifted the Welshman his second goal in the 27th minutes. The winger stood over a free-kick over 30 yards out and the shot looked to be an over-confident move, but the ball flicked off the arm of Alberto Moreno and dropped in the opposite corner of the helpless Beto to the delight of Ancelotti on the bench.
Incredibly, Bale could have had a hat-trick inside 32 minutes. Isco nicked the ball away from Fernando Navarro and was bundled to the ground by the defender for a penalty, but despite being on for a trio, Bale did not take the spot-kick. Instead, Ronaldo took control of the ball and slotted the penalty away for his first of the night.
The game was fully in Madrid’s control, but Sevilla forced their way back into it with a stunning three-minute double salvo. First, Sergio Ramos clumsily fouled Diogo Figueiras in the box so Rakitic stepped up to slam past Diego Lopez, who got close to keeping it out. A minute later, Vitolo pulled the ball across the box and Bacca gleefully smashed in as Real’s defence fell apart.
It left the game in a peculiar position as we headed into the second half, but more attacking class from Real returned us to the status quo. Benzema had failed to find the net in his last seven games, but prodded home expertly to finish off a flowing move involving Ronaldo and Bale in a lightning quick counter attack.
Ronaldo was the next to get in on the act but the credit must got to Bale for an incredible assist. The wing wizard floated away from two Sevilla defenders and drilled in a low cross and Real’s Portuguese superstar was on hand to fire past Beto and give the home side breathing space once again.
Sevilla were not beaten though and Rakitic reminded Real of that with a superb goal in the 63rd minute. He had the ball in an unlikely position but found the top corner with an incredible left-footed finish as Lopez watched on helplessly in frustration.
One man who was not frustrated was the Portugal captain as Ronaldo made it six for Madrid with a goal that sealed his first hat-trick of the season. It was a typical move for Ronaldo as he came inside onto his right foot and fired a shot at goal, but the deflection off of Navarro took Beto out of the game again and the ball nestled into the back of the net.
Despite having such a good game in an attacking sense, Ronaldo’s defending resulted in a fourth penalty of the game being awarded. It was a sloppy tackle on Figueiras and Rakitic stepped up for a hat-trick chance, but the Croatian midfielder blazed over from twelve yards as Sevilla’s final stand came to an end.
It got worse for Emery’s men as Sevilla were reduced to ten men with 14 minutes to go. Stephane M’Bia had already been booked in the first half and a second yellow card soon followed after a wayward arm collided with Luka Modric’s face right in front of the referee’s face. The dismissal sealed the win for Real, but there was still time for Benzema to complete a brace.
Marcelo was afforded the space of Madrid on the left wing and his deft cross was perfect for Real’s number nine to nod past Beto and soak in the adulation of the Real fans.