Real Madrid cruise to 3-0 win over Deportivo with Gareth Bale, Casemiro and Toni Kroos on target

No Cristiano Ronaldo, no worries for Real Madrid - although they will have to play their next game without Sergio Ramos as well, after his late red card. 

The relentless Real Madrid winning machine rumbles on as Los Blancos started their La Liga campaign as they ended the last with a comfortable away win.

Since their last league game Madrid have added three more trophies to Zinedine Zidane's short but trophy-filled tenure with another Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup.

Madrid needed goalkeeper Keylor Navas to prove his worth with two early stops from Florin Andone, but thereafter Madrid again made light of Cristiano Ronaldo's absence through suspension.

Gareth Bale got a much needed gift to open his account for the season 20 minutes in from Karim Benzema's scuffed shot.

Just six minutes later it was 2-0 as Marcelo teed up Brazilian international teammate Casemiro for another easy finish.

And Bale rounded off an important night for him after an underwhelming start to the season with the assist for Toni Kroos to fire home the visitors' third after the break.

Following Marco Asensio's pair of stunning strikes to down Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, Bale was fortunate to get back in the side after being dropped in midweek.

Despite putting his injury troubles of last season behind him and without having to pander to Ronaldo's every need, Bale had failed to score in pre-season or on Super Cup duty.

Asensio's form and Ronaldo's return will see his place come under pressure, but even the simplest of finishes with the goal gaping from six yards out may just have been the confidence boost the Welshman needed to kickstart what will be his make or break season at the Bernabeu.

Nacho partnered Sergio Ramos at the heart of the Madrid defence as Raphael Varane was given the night off following a gruelling start to the campaign that involved four pre-season games in the USA, a trip to Macedonia to face Manchester United and two turns at El Clasico.

Yet, the ease with which Andone got free in the first 10 minutes raises questions over Madrid's depth at centre-back.

Pepe was allowed to leave on a free in the summer with the talented but inexperienced 20-year-old Jesus Vallejo recalled from a loan spell at Eintracht Frankfurt to fill his absence.

If Vallejo and Nacho aren't up to scratch, a huge burden will be placed on Ramos, who isn't getting any younger at 31.

Speaking of Madrid's captain, Real would have been considering themselves lucky Ramos wasn't facing a ban for a 23rd career red card after clawing at Fabian Schar's face.

The self-proclaimed biggest club in the world have played the victim card in the past week over their perceived injustice over Ronaldo's five-match ban for pushing a referee after being sent-off in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Ronaldo even claimed the Spanish Football Federation's treatment mounted up to "persecution."

The leniency in showing Ramos just a yellow is one of many decisions conveniently forgotten when such conspiracy theories are concocted.

In the end, he was sent off anyway for a second yellow card in the final moments of the match.

Andone has been heavily linked with a move to Burnley, especially as Depor need to raise funds in their attempt to bring Lucas Perez home from Arsenal.

It is easy to see why Sean Dyche will have been impressed by the Romanian international's tenacity and work rate.

However, as his two blown one-on-ones with Navas exposed early on, Andone is not a lethal goalscorer.

It says much about Madrid's attitude to the game that even the holding midfielder is free-scoring.

Casemiro popped up in the six-yard for his goal, just as he did to net against United in Skopje.

The Brazilian scored six goals last season too, many of them vital including Madrid's decisive second to tee up a 4-1 hammering of Juventus in the Champions League final.


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