Real Madrid put Almeria to the sword with a 0-5 thrashing at Juegos Mediterraneos Stadium. Los Merengues showed their best offensive skills to maintain the six-point deficit with Barcelona in La Liga.
However, Almeria’s goal fest left bad news for Carlo Ancelotti, who saw his best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, came off injured early in the second half.
Almeria’s defence started the game showing a very alarming frailty. In fact, they allowed Ronaldo to shoot on target three times in the first two minutes, and the Portuguese wouldn’t miss his third attempt.
Isco sent a cross from the right and Ronaldo got ahead of defender Angel Trujillo to send the ball to the bottom left corner with the sole of his boot.
The hosts were completely disorientated, unable to bring the ball to Los Blancos half. Real were in control of the game, but an inspired Esteban prevented the visitors from sealing the victory in the first minutes.
The Spanish goalkeeper made a double save in the fifth minute, denying Ronaldo’s long-distance effort and getting up quickly to save Benzema’s rebound.
Suso and Rodri tried to lead the Andalucians reaction. The youth Liverpool player, on loan in Almeria this season, sent a curling strike wide off the post. A few minutes later, Rodri’s volley was brilliantly denied by Diego Lopez.
Ronaldo could have doubled Los Merengues lead after dribbling three defenders and shooting from inside the box, but Esteban was superb to anticipate and catch the ball.
Ancelotti’s men struggled at the end of the first half, with Aleix Vidal sending two clear shots wide off the post.
Cristiano Ronaldo injured
Ronaldo had to be replaced by Jese Rodriguez in the second half after picking up an injury. Far from weakening Real, the Canarian’s appearance brought some fresh air for Los Blancos.
Jese dribbled two defenders and assisted Benzema to make it 0-2 with a powerful strike. Almeria lost all they’re hopes of a come-back and Gareth Bale made the third after intercepting a terrible pass by Sebastian Dubarbier to his goalkeeper.
Isco’s incredible strike from 30 metres and Alvaro Morata’s delightful chip shot in a counter-attack left the hosts with an embarrassing 0-5 in the scoreboard.