Real Madrid wins 10-2 against Rayo Vallecano
Bale scores four goals, Benzema nets three
Liverpool beaten 3-0 in Premier League
Juventus keeps pressure on Italian leaders
It’s not often a football team is booed by its own fans during a game in which it scores 10 goals, but that was the surreal situation at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium Sunday.
Rafael Benitez has not proved a popular appointment with Madridistas, and the coach’s standing with supporters dropped to a new low when Rayo Vallecano – the Spanish capital’s third-best team – took a 2-1 lead after only 12 minutes.
The crowd of 61,564 – in a stadium that can hold over 85,000 – let their feelings be clearly heard.
However, the tide turned when Vallecano had two players sent off before half an hour had been played, and Real took full advantage to become the first team to hit double figures in La Liga since 1960.
Gareth Bale doubled his season’s tally with four goals, while Karim Benzema grabbed a hat-trick and Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice. Danilo had given Real a third-minute lead from Bale’s pass.
Wales forward Bale, who has also struggled to win over Real’s fans, received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 74th minute after his first four-goal haul; somewhat bizarrely replaced by a defender with the score 8-2.
“We conceded the goals early, but then the team reacted,” Benitez told reporters.
“I am not going to judge the decisions of the referee, but from the sending-off the team did what it had to do, try to play well and score goals.”
Rayo coach Paco Jemez was furious after Tito was given a straight red for a two-footed tackle on Toni Kroos and Raul Baena went for two yellow cards. The latter, for a pull on Sergio Ramos, allowed Ronaldo to level from the penalty spot.
“La Liga has lost credibility. We feel trampled upon and humiliated,” he said.
“It is a long time since I have seen something so grotesque and shameful that doesn’t benefit us or Madrid. All of us lose credibility.”
Real stayed third in the table, two points behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, while Rayo was in the relegation zone.
Defending champion Barca won its fifth trophy of 2015 earlier Sunday, beating River Plate 3-0 in the Club World Cup final in Japan.
Atletico, meanwhile, had the chance to take the lead in Sunday’s late game at Malaga but lost 1-0.
Atletico had Gabi sent off for a second booking in the 56th minute, and Brazilian striker Charles’ late shot deflected in off visiting defender Diego Godin to move Malaga away from the bottom three.
Villarreal, which beat Real Madrid 1-0 last weekend, stayed fifth with a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad thanks to a goal in each half from Denis Suarez.
Fourth-placed Celta Vigo remained a point above the “Yellow Submarine” after winning at Malaga by the same scoreline.
English Premier League
Benitez’s former club Liverpool suffered a chastening 3-0 defeat at promoted Watford on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp has enjoyed notable victories over Manchester City and Chelsea since replacing Brendan Rodgers as manager in October, but these have been offset by dropped points against teams such as West Brom, Newcastle and Crystal Palace.
Liverpool never recovered after stand-in goalkeeper Adam Bogdan dropped an early corner to gift Nathan Ake the opener, and Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo added a goal in each half.
“We lost our minds after the first goal, we lost our compact formation,” said Klopp, whose team ended the weekend in ninth place, 14 points behind leader Leicester.
“I would say hopefully it’s the most disappointing moment in my whole Liverpool FC life.”
Seventh-placed Watford has already equaled its best Premier League points total – 28, when relegated in 2007 – and was boosted when eighth-placed West Ham could only draw 0-0 at managerless, third-bottom Swansea.
Italian Serie A
Juventus continued its charge towards the leading positions as striker Mario Mandzukic scored twice in a 3-2 win at Carpi.
The fourth-placed defending champion is two points behind Fiorentina and Napoli, who won respectively against Chievo Verona and Atalanta.
Former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain scored twice in Napoli’s 3-1 victory to extend his leading tally in the scorers’ standings to 16.
Leader Inter Milan has a one-point advantage after losing 2-1 at home to Lazio in Sunday’s late match.
Antonio Candreva, who gave Lazio an early lead, scored an 87th-minute winner after his penalty was saved, then both teams had a player sent off in time added on.