Real Madrid moved five points clear at the top of the La Liga table with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Girona on Saturday.
In what was billed as a title-decider, Madrid ensured there was no doubting the identify of La Liga’s dominant side with a rampant performance that yielded a deservedly dominant scoreline.
Vinicius Junior opened the scoring early on and Jude Bellingham netted in both halves, before Rodrygo finished things off with an excellent solo goal.
How the game unfolded
Girona were comfortable in possession early on but some Madrid magic put Los Blancos ahead inside six minutes.
Vinicius picked the ball up out on the left and cut inside towards the edge of the penalty area, where he unleashed a perfect strike which thundered into the back of the Girona net to get this game off to the perfect start for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Girona did not shy away from the occasion and enjoyed plenty of possession, but Madrid defended with real discipline and energy and Girona created very little of note inside the first half.
Further flexing their quality, Madrid struck a crucial second ten minutes before the interval. A stunning ball from Vinicius took the entire Girona defence out of the game as Bellingham latched on, rounded the goalkeeper and tapped home.
There was more energy to Girona early in the second half, with Miguel Gutierrez causing chaos with a fierce cross which was ultimately cleared by Madrid.
However, Madrid regained control of proceedings when Bellingham tapped home the rebound after Vinicius’ superb solo effort was tapped into his lap.
The fourth wasn’t far behind. Rodrygo led the counter and finished off the move with a fierce strike to remove any doubt about the result.
There was still time, however, for Joselu to miss a stoppage time penalty. Thankfully for the substitute striker, it meant nothing.
Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-1-2)
GK: Andriy Lunin – 6/10 – Rarely tested.
RB: Lucas Vazquez – 7/10 – His impressive run of form continues. Vazquez was excellent defensively and did what he could to try get forwards as well.
CB: Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10 – Looked at home as a defender. Made some excellent interceptions and his natural comfort on the ball helped Tchouameni start things from the back.
CB: Dani Carvajal – 7/10 – Worked incredibly hard in an unfamiliar position. A truly impressive performance.
LB: Ferland Mendy – 6/10 – A little quiet at both ends but didn’t get much wrong.
CM: Toni Kroos – 8/10 – A masterful performance from the midfield conductor. Kroos pulled each and every string to perfection but also ensured his positioning never left his centre-backs exposed.
CM: Federico Valverde – 8/10 – Immense energy. Valverde flew around every inch of the pitch, trying to get involved in attack while also putting in a double shift to help out in defence. Selfless and sensational
CM: Eduardo Camavinga – 7/10 – Pulled his weight in every aspect. Some superb dribbling to help Madrid advance the ball.
AM: Jude Bellingham – 8/10 – Another goal under the spotlight. Bellingham made sure to leave his mark on the game. Forced off injured early in the second half.
ST: Rodrygo – 6/10 – Noticeably quiet in the first half but announced his presence in the game with a glorious goal.
ST: Vinicius Junior – 9/10 – His goal was beautiful but his assist for Bellingham may just have been better. Madrid needed him to step up for this one and he gleefully answered the call.