Real Madrid’s new record signing Gareth Bale was the man to shine in Cristiano Ronaldo’s continued absence through injury scoring a hat-trick and assisting another as Los Merengues cruised past Real Valladolid by 4-0 to keep touch with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.
The game’s first chance came after three minutes, Sergio Ramos rising the highest to meet a Xabi Alonso corner, but the Spanish defender’s header flew over.
Just a few minutes later, Argentinian Angel di Maria came close again for Real Madrid, as his audacious half volley looped over the goalkeeper, Diego Marino, only to bounce off the crossbar and hit the shot-stopper before going out of play.
Eventually, after 33 minutes, Madrid got the first goal of the night, as Di Maria’s cross-cum-shot was palmed straight into the part of Gareth Bale to simply nod into the empty net. 1-0 Madrid.
3 minutes later, Bale turned provider, crossing from deep for Karim Benzema to calmly nod past Marino. 2-0 Madrid. Benzema has also now scored in five successive league matches, the first time he has done so in Spain.
In the second half, the visitors were far more livelier than in the first half and Zakarya Bergdich troubled the hosts on the counter as he beat Ramos before shooting at Diego Lopez, but the Spaniard was able to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Benzema thought he had made it 3-0 Madrid when he tapped in Bale’s squared pass, but the Frenchman was adjudged to be offside.
After 64 minutes, Real would have their third, however. Bale played Marcelo in down the left and when the Brazilian’s low cross was partially intercepted, the Welshman was in the right place to sweep home. 3-0 Madrid.
Bale would complete his hattrick in the 89th minute, the former Tottenham man slotting it past Marino from inside the six-yard-box. 4-0 Madrid, Bale completing his first Real Madrid hattrick in style, with left footed, right footed and headed finishes.
REAL MADRID-REAL VALLADOLID
4 OFFSIDES 1
6 FOULS 8
10 CORNERS 1
11 THROWS 14
15 DRIBBLES 8
19 TACKLES 20
92% PASS % 78%
58% AERIAL SUCC. 42%
65% POSSESSION 35%
Total shots: 26
On Target: 12
Off Target: 13
Hit woodwork: 1
Total shots: 9
On Target: 3
Off target: 6
Hit woodwork: 0