Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna: Winners and Losers from La Liga

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2016

Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna: Winners and Losers from La Liga

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    Real Madrid began life under coach Zinedine Zidane with a crushing 5-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga on Saturday evening.

    The famed BBC attack of Real was too much for Depor to handle as Gareth Bale netted a hat-trick—two headers and a fine low finish—and Karim Benzema scored twice. All three were heavily involved throughout, and the work rate in the second half will have impressed the new boss, too.

    Here are all our biggest winners and losers from the game.

Winner: Gareth Bale

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    Man of the match and with another great performance to go with his recent good form, Bale was superb as he attacked both flanks, defended well when he needed to and was extremely efficient in front of goal.

    Bale netted a good header on the run for his opener, almost set up Cristiano Ronaldo with a delightful chipped pass before the break and then finished a low shot immediately after half-time. Bale's hat-trick goal was another header, powered in off a corner.

    He was subbed on 73 minutes and received a massive ovation from the Bernabeu fans, the loudest of the evening according to AS on Twitter.

Loser: James Rodriguez

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    Someone had to be left out—and Zidane chose James Rodriguez. Isco was given the nod to start in midfield, and that left the Colombian on the bench, with the BBC attack already guaranteed to be in the lineup.

    Former manager Rafael Benitez was criticised for not featuring James often enough at times, even though the player struggled with injury early on in the season, so it will be intriguing to note the reaction which heads Zidane's way after he decided to follow suit.

    It was the 66th minute before James came on as a sub, and the game was already well over by then, with Real up 4-0, and Isco had made a good, if not world-class, impression.

Winner: Karim Benzema

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    Striker Benzema has been in very good form of late and continued that on Saturday, scoring the opening goal and being involved in the build-up to the second in a very impressive first half.

    His movement and touch saw Depor's defence opened up several times over the course of the first 45 minutes, while his back-heeled goal was his 150th in a Real Madrid shirt and his 100th in La Liga, per Sky Sports on Twitter.

    A late thumping effort from the Frenchman rounded off the win.

Winner: Dani Carvajal

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    Usually we'd look for another loser at this point, but it's worthwhile focusing on the positives for Real Madrid in this game—and right-back Dani Carvajal was certainly one of those.

    Left out in favour of Danilo often this season, the Spanish defender came into Zidane's starting XI and was excellent in both halves of the pitch.

    Carvajal defended with aggression and bravery, but was also quick to get forward and provided a series of excellent deliveries from the flank, including the assist for Bale's first goal.

Winner: Zizou

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    Who else for the last choice? Zidane's first game in charge couldn't have gone much better.

    His team got away with a few nervy moments at the back early on, then went and took charge with a great display in attack. The front three were effective, a 5-0 result was emphatic and one or two refereeing decisions perhaps went his side's way too with handballs in Real's own box.

    The new manager got to make changes to suit; Sergio Ramos rested because of a potential injury, Bale got the acclaim of the Bernabeu and the expected Isco-James switch to see both in action. A great day, a great result and a great first step for Zizou.