FULL TIME: Real Madrid 5-0 Rayo Vallecano
Well this game has silence a few of the Clasico critics. Real Madrid needed this result, even if the performance has actually been patchy at times. Goals for Bale and Morata will boost morale in the team.
Two minutes of stoppage time to be played.
Morata really has impressed since coming on. He has a point to prove and a place to play for in next season's Real Madrid squad. There have been reports he will be farmed out on loan after the summer.
Real Madrid are now dominating the game with their man advantage. Rayo are no longer passing the ball around with ease like they were earlier in the match. They're done.
Isco whips a wicked delivery into the box, finding Ronaldo with his set piece. However, from a standing position the Portuguese winger nods the ball wide of the target. He should have done better.
Here's a stat for you. Morata has now scored four goals in just 228 minutes of La Liga football this season. He's certainly looked very sharp since coming on, taking advantage of a tired Rayo backline.
Off the line! A goalmouth scramble presents good opportunities to Ronaldo and Ramos before it falls to Pepe, who gets his shot away at goal. But it actually looked to strike Ronaldo on the line. That was unfortunate.
Rayo Vallecano will play the final 10 minutes of this game with 10 men, as Jose Carlos has come off with a thigh injury. Jemez has made all three changes.
Bale tries to dance his way through the Rayo defence and actually makes it past about three challenges, but his pass out to Ronaldo on the left wing is cut out in the end. Nice play from the Welshman.
Morata has a new skinhead hair cut tonight, but that's the kind of goal we were seeing from him earlier in the season. That will do his confidence a world of good.
GOAL! Real Madrid 5 (79 mins - Alvaro Morata) Rayo Vallecano 0. Magnificent goal. Morata sees the top corner from just inside the box and bends the ball right there, scoring Real Madrid's fifth of the night.
Real Madrid Goal

Right Footed - Top Right

Ronaldo is sent through on goal but he delays and delays his shot, giving the Rayo defenders the chance to recover and in the end his shot is blocked by Ze Castro.
Isco chips a wonderful pass over the top of the Rayo defence, but from a tight angle Ronaldo decided to strike on the volley, with the ball flashing over. He probably should have squared it to Morata.
So even though Real Madrid are four up, Ronaldo stays on the pitch for the full 90 minutes. It's not like they have a crucial Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund during the week, or anything...
Real Madrid sub: Karim Benzema OFF, Alvaro Morata ON.

Rayo possession stat keeps edging up [54% now] even as they keep conceding a goal on break every five minutes or so...

Real Madrid Substitution
What a way to silence the critics. Bale has been the subject of some scrutiny in the Spanish press after the Clasico but that was an incredible solo effort. Fantastic pace. He just sprinted past the opposition defenders with ease.
GOAL! Real Madrid 4 (72 mins - Gareth Bale) Rayo Vallecano 0. Bale sprints three quarters of the pitch to score his second goal of the night and his team's fourth. That was magnificent. He left Rat in this wake and he surged past him.
Real Madrid sub: Angel Di Maria OFF, Carlos Henrique Casemiro ON.
Real Madrid Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Left

Rayo Vallecano sub: Joaquin Larrivey OFF, Samuele Longo ON.
Real Madrid Substitution
Rayo Vallecano Substitution
The camera pans to Ancelotti on the touchline. He's still not smiling, even now that the points are in the bag.
GOAL! Real Madrid 3 (68 mins - Gareth Bale) Rayo Vallecano 0. Ronaldo sets Di Maria to the byline, who squares the ball across the face of goal for Bale, who has the simple task of tapping into the empty net.
Real Madrid Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Center

Falque mishits his shot from the left corner of the penalty area, but his teammates aren't willing to gamble and the ball dribbles across the face of goal. Larivey should have taken a chance.
And still, Real Madrid are struggling to make everything click in the final third. I'm not even sure Isco has had a touch of the ball since coming on. Bale and Ronaldo are looking further and further apart on the wings.
Viera wins a freekick from Carvajal and takes the set piece himself. And he had Lopez worries about his shot for a moment, flashing the effort just past the far post with the Real keeper diving to his left.
YELLOW CARD: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)

Illarramendi off to pretty warm hand from the Bernabeu, with Isco on for the last 30 mins or so to a few scattered cheers.

Real Madrid Yellow card

Real Madrid


Real Madrid sub: Asier Illarramendi OFF, Isco ON.
Real Madrid Substitution
The away team build up a nice passing move but when the ball is moved forward to Larrivey he can't make it stick and Ramos and Pepe crowd him out, with Real Madrid coming forward on the break.
Rayo Vallecano aren't done yet and have brought on Viera as they attempt to find a way back into the game. Most teams would try and shut up shop at this point, but not Jemez. Not a bit of it.
Rayo Vallecano Substitution
Rayo Vallecano sub: Alberto Bueno OFF, Jonathan Viera ON.
A good effort from Saul but Lopez is right behind it and makes the save. It was a decent shot from the on-loan Atletico player, with good technique, but the shot needs to be better to score from there.
Rayo have just hit the post! The ball is played to the back post from a corner kick, with Saul rising highest in the six yard box. But his header clips the outside of the near post and goes behind.
You would think that would be the points wrapped up for Real Madrid. I can't see Rayo Vallecano mounting a comeback from 1-0 down. Even still, this hasn't been a great performance from Real.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2 (55 mins - Dani Carvajal) Rayo Vallecano 0. Real Madrid finally double their advantage, with Ronaldo laying off to Carvajal inside the box, who guided his controlled shot into the net.
Real Madrid Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Center

Isco has been sent to warm up along the touchline. Could he be about to come on for Benzema? Or maybe Illarramendi? They need more creativity in the final third to find the second goal.
Ancelotti must be a little concerned by his side's lack of control in the second half. Having said that, Rayo are a good side on the ball. Where they struggle is creating opportunities in front of goal.
The ball bounces about the Rayo penalty area but they clear in the end. Benzema had combined well with Di Maria down the left before zipping a ball into Ronaldo, but Rat stuck with him to make the tackle.
Bale plays a driven ball into Benzema, but there are too many players between the Welshman and the striker and the ball is picked up by Ruben.
Ronaldo looks to be through on goal and round the keeper but the flag is up. He was in an offside position when the pass was played to him from Di Maria. Good decision by the linesman.
Jose Carlos has given Coentrao problems since coming on for Rochina, but although he has almost every trick in the book the one trick he lacks is a decent cross into the box. Get it in there!
Rayo Vallecano have started the second half well and are keeping the ball well as they try to feel their way back into the contest.
Ronaldo is still on the pitching. After picking up a knock in the first half I kind of expected him to be hooked at the break, considering the fact that they face Dortmund during the week.
So can Real Madrid up their game in this second half? It's not like they were troubled much before the break, but from an attacking perspective they were a little laboured in the opening 45 minutes.
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Rayo Vallecano
We're back under way at the Bernabeu!
What did you make of the first half? Can Real Madrid do better? And if so, how? Tweet me (@grahamruthven)!
Real Madrid have rarely been troubled by Rayo Vallecano, but they've done just enough to be ahead at the break. It has been laboured at times and the front three aren't quite clicking but there's not too much for Ancelotti to be worried about.
One minute of stoppage time to be played.
As dangerous as they have looked at times, Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo have yet to truly click in this game. That might be a worry for Ancelotti, because his side can't afford any more slip ups this season.
Real Madrid have taken their foot off the pedal in the last few minutes. The pace of the game has dropped. It's almost as if both teams are just waiting for the break. To be honest, I think the contest could do with a break.
Rayo Vallecano waste a good chance from a set piece. Instead of playing the ball into the box Jose Carlos decides to try and catch out Lopez at his near post, and drags the ball horribly wide.
Di Maria waits and waits to pick a pass, by which time there are about four Real Madrid players offside. He needed to play it quicker!
Ramos is breaking forward at almost every possible opportunity. Has Gerard Pique been whispering in his ear during the Clasico? Alonso and Illarramendi look somewhat perplexed as the defender surges past them.
It's quite incredible that this scoreline has remained at 1-0 for so long. Real Madrid have had chances to double their lead but haven't taken them.
Oh dear. Bale beats Rat for pace and makes his way into the box, clean through on goal. But just as he winds up his shot he kicks the turf and falls over. Whoops! Ronaldo appeals for a spot kick. Don't think so Cristiano.
Illarramendi breaks from midfield and tries to set Bale free down the left side, but Rat comes across the cut out the pass. The Real Madrid midfielder probably should have kept hold of the ball a bit longer.
I'm not quite sure why Ancelotti is keeping Ronaldo on the pitch. Barcelona kept Messi on the pitch with an injury once and it resulted in him being out for months. Real have Dortmund in the Champions League this week as well!
This could be a problem for Real Madrid. Ronaldo is down on the turf in some pain. He has been struggling with a knee injury this week. Could he have aggrevated that injury in a challenge or stretch?

Rochina apparently no injured, Jemez wasnt happy with his work so hooked him after about 20 mins. Just like embarrasing Arbilla at Camp Nou.

An awkward cross comes into the Real Madrid box from Trashorras, but Ramos gets in front of Larrivey to put the ball behind for a corner kick with a diving header. The set piece is cleared by the home team.
Bale and Ronaldo stand over the freekick, but it's actually Ramos who takes it. However, his shot flashes over the crossbar.
Ronaldo almost gets on the end of a through ball, but the keeper gets there first to make the slide tackle. But when the rebound falls to Benzema he is fouled on the edge of the box before he can get a shot away.
Di Maria seems to be playing more on the wing tonight. He's been used as a central midfielder by Ancelotti in recent months, excelling in that position. But he's on the left this evening.
Benzema has had a good season for Real Madrid but even still, you just get the feeling that he misses too many chances. That should have been a goal. For instance, he could have had about four against Barca and Real ended up losing the game.
How did he miss? Ronaldo breaks the offside trap and plays a square pass to Benzema, who looks to have the simple task of tapping home. But his control lets him down and the ball dribbles past him!
That is a strange one. Rochina didn't seem to be carrying an injury and looks perplexed as he trudges off the pitch. Is that a tactical change from Jemez?
Rayo Vallecano Substitution
Rayo Vallecano sub: Ruben Rochina OFF, Jose Carlos Fernandez ON.
Well, this is interesting. It actually looks like Jemez is preparing to make a change. There's a Rayo Vallecano player waiting on the touchline to come on.
Perhaps Jemez is regretting coming to the Bernabeu with such an attacking lineup now. They've seen very little of the ball and their attacking players like Larrivey, Falque and Bueno have done nothing.
Ronaldo breaks the offside trap but he can't quite gather the long ball over the top from Alonso, with the keeper sweeping up. Replays show he was actually offside but Ronaldo is annoyed with himself for not doing better.
Bale gets to the byline with a few stepovers and fakes, but can't find a teammate when he tries to pass the ball into the six yard box. Ruben does well to get down low and collect it.
Real Madrid and Ronaldo are enjoying themselves now. The rain is falling quite heavily in Madrid but that isn't affecting the home team. They're zipping the ball around, making Rayo chase it.
That first touch from Ronaldo was incredible. With just one shifting of the ball he broke through on goal while taking three opposition players out of the game in the process.

Ronaldo now scored in his last 10 games for club and country... despite having niggling knee problem [allegedly]

GOAL! Real Madrid 1 (15 mins - Cristiano Ronaldo) Rayo Vallecano 0. Really nice goal and Real Madrid have the lead. Bale plays the ball to Ronaldo, who takes out three defenders with his first touch before rolling the ball into the far corner of the net.
Real Madrid Goal

Right Footed - Bottom Left

With Rayo Vallecano sitting so deep, Real Madrid are being asked to control the game and pick their way though. But that's not really their game. They're more of a counter attacking team.
So close to an own goal! Coentrao's cross to the near post is almost turned into his own net by Arbilla, but the ball flashes just past the post. That was very close. It looked in for a moment.
Illarramendi tries to scoop the ball over the top of the Rayo defence but Rat does well to head away under pressure from Bale. Nice idea from the central midfielder, though.
Even although Real Madrid are playing three central midfielders, they seem to be bypassing them quite a bit, with Ramos and Pepe looking for the channels as soon as they get on the ball.
Somewhat surprisingly the Bernabeu looks quite empty this evening. It's not an especially nice night in Madrid but this is a huge game for the team. Maybe their fans spent all their pennies on Clasico tickets.
First effort on goal for the away team, but Saul doesn't get much on his shot and Lopez has the easy task of collecting the dribbling ball at his feet.
Good tempo to the game in these opening 10 minutes or so. Rayo are obviously on the back foot but when they do get the ball they look to play it out from the back. That's their style.
Carvajal plays the ball to Bale on the edge of the box, who has time and space to wind up the shot. However, Ze Castro comes out the defensive line with no fear and makes the block with his body.
Real Madrid come surging forward, with Bale rasping a ball in behind the opposition defence for Ronaldo, but Lopez gets in the way and makes an interception. That was crucial.
Remember, you can tweet me your thoughts throughout the game (@grahamruthven). Always keen to hear your views.
First sight of goal for Real Madrid and it falls to Benzema. However, the French striker can't find a way past Ruben in the Rayo goal. Ronaldo's first time rebound effort goes wide too.
Of course, this is a huge game for Real Madrid. They need to win to keep within touching distance of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, who have both won their games earlier today.
Ancelotti has made three changes from the side that lost to Sevilla during the week. Back comes Ramos, with Illarramendi replacing Modric in midfield. And Coentrao has been preferred to Marcelo.
We're under way at the Santiago Bernabue!
TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid - Lopez, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Alonso, Illarramendi, Di Maria, Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema. /// Rayo Vallecano - Ruben, Arbilla, Ze Borja, Rat, Saul, Trashorras, Falque, Rochina, Bueno, Larrivey.

Starting Line-ups

Real Madrid
Rayo Vallecano
    • López
    • 5
      Fábio Coentrão
    • 4
    • 3
    • 15
    • Di María
    • Alonso
    • 24
    • 7
    • 9
    • 11
Team Manager:  Carlo Ancelotti
    • Larrivey
    • Rubén Rochina
    • 23
    • Falque
    • 10
    • Ñíguez
    • Arbilla
    • 18
      Zé Castro
    • Borja López
    • Razvan Rat
    • Rubén
Team Manager:  Paco Jémez
Players Sub Time
Players Sub Time
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
D. López 0 2 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 90
Pepe 0 1 1 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
S. Ramos 0 0 0 2 5 0 2 4 0 0 0 90
Fábio Coentrão 0 0 0 5 2 0 5 1 0 0 0 90
D. Carvajal 1 0 1 3 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 90
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
X. Alonso 0 0 0 66 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 90
Á. Di María 0 1 0 35 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 70
A. Illarramendi 0 0 0 46 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 62
C. Ronaldo 1 1 1 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
G. Bale 2 1 2 31 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 90
K. Benzema 0 0 1 17 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 73
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
Rubén 0 1 5 7 0 0 0 0 0 90
A. Arbilla 0 0 0 4 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 90
Razvan Rat 0 0 0 1 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 90
Borja López 0 0 0 4 5 0 1 1 0 0 0 90
Zé Castro 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 90
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
S. Ñíguez 0 0 2 56 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 90
R. Trashorras 0 0 0 108 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 90
I. Falque 0 0 0 40 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 90
A. Bueno 0 0 0 30 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 59
Rubén Rochina 0 0 0 15 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 25
J. Larrivey 0 0 0 15 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 70
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