Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our live coverage as Deportivo La Coruna
welcome Real Madrid
to the Riazor in La Liga. Madrid are looking to bounce back after two straight defeats in the league, while La Coruna will seek to continue from a promising start upon their return to the top tier of Spanish football.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti
has work to do on his Madrid side following the departures of Angel di Maria
and Xabi Alonso
, with the former champions already suffering two defeats in a row at the hands of Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid respectively.
This afternoon's visitors may have made some way back to acceptable form as they thrashed Basel 5-1 in the Champions League in midweek, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo
, Gareth Bale
and Karim Benzema
Newly-promoted La Coruna have faired slightly better than their opponents, with Victor Fernandez
's side managing to notch an impressive four points from three games.
Coming off the back of their win in midweek, Madrid boss Ancelotti has been quick to highlight that his side must remain positive as they go in search of form in La Liga. Here's what he had to say to reporters:
"The team played well [on Tuesday], we scored a lot of goals and tried to play as well as we could. The Bernabeu was content after that performance.
"We have to be positive. I don't hear the booing, but when the supporters sing 'How can I not love you' of course I hear that. I want to live positively. Everyone gets nervous, including the players. It's normal. When you lose the derby it is normal to be nervous. I am not used to losing two games on the bounce with Real Madrid. It is good not to get used to that."
Deportivo's star player Haris Medunjanin
has also been speaking ahead of the clash: "I think when you play against Madrid you cannot be tired. It's a game you have to enjoy and play without fear. Everybody thinks that Madrid will win easily but if we play together as we did in Eibar we can get something."
We've got some team news for you now...
REAL MADRID STARTING XI: Casillas; Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Ronaldo, Kroos, Rodriguez, Bale, Modric, Benzema
REAL MADRID SUBSTITUTES:
Navas, Coentrao, Carvajal, Fernandez, Isco
, Illarramendi, Hernandez
DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA STARTING XI: Lux; Sidnei, Laure, Luisinho, Diakite, Bergantinos, Medunjanin, Juanfran, Cuenca, Farina, Postiga
DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA SUBSTITUTES: Fabricio, Pablo, Canella, Lopo, Dominguez, Cavaleiro, Toche
As you may have thought, Madrid have opted for their most progressively attacking starting XI, with Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema and Rodriguez all featuring. The away side also have Dani Carvajal
back in contention on the bench.
The home side have managed to hand a start to the influential Medunjanin who has played a lot of minutes over the past week, while they have also been able to include the creative threat of Luis Farina
who returns from injury after missing Deportivo's last outing.
I suppose it's time I made a prediction, then... I'm fancying Madrid to turn things around this afternoon. They haven't lost three back-to-back games since 2009 and I don't expect to see them do that today. I'm going for a 3-1 away victory.
KICKOFF! Deportivo get us going this afternoon, kicking from left to right in their blue and white home strip...
Not much to go by so far. Madrid are pressing intensely and look to win the ball back quickly when Deportivo find possession.
There's a scramble inside the box as La Coruna pump the ball forward. Marcelo slips and it looks as though Farina might be in, but Toni Kroos does well to intercept and clear away with a hoof.
First Madrid chance to get something into the box and it's Modric who delivers from a corner, however it's cleared by the first man on the post.
There's lots of space opening up in the centre of the pitch already and Madrid are looking to exploit it. Modric and Ronaldo exchange some short passes before feeding out wide to Rodriguez, whose cross is cleared at the near post.
Rodriguez is getting lots of room out on the left early on and the away side are looking to him on most attacks. This time he is played in by Marcelo, but his cross towards Benzema is headed away by the centre-back.
CLOSE! The away side are almost in thanks to some tenacious play from Rodriguez who bursts through the middle and is able to scramble past one defender, but he is eventually closed out and the hosts clear.
Madrid are enjoying plenty of possession so far, but they can't quite find the final pass. This time the ball breaks to Kroos in the centre, but his ball in over the top is intercepted on its way to a charging Benzema.
SAVE! Great goalkeeping now from Lux as he rushes off his line to prevent Benzema from giving Madrid the lead. Ronaldo comes forward in the box and beats two players before the ball is knocked away, but only into the path of Benzema, who is closed down by the on-rushing Deportivo keeper.
Marcelo has been impressive so far, both going forward and defending. He's quick to press the winger down in the corner to prevent a cross being delivered. Madrid win the resulting corner and break at pace, but Ronaldo lashes horribly wide from outside the box.
Great play from Lux again, this time as he's quick off his line to come out and claim a dangerous ball from Rodriguez. He gets past the full-back and swings towards Ronaldo at the back post, however Lux comes out to save the day.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 0-1 REAL MADRID (CRISTIANO RONALDO)
Madrid take the lead as Alvaro Arbeloa charges down the wing, before putting in a peach of a cross that allows Ronaldo to leapt highest and head home from the centre of the box into the top left corner.
Shouts for penalty from the hosts! Cuenca marauds forward into the box and looks to be in a threatening position, leaving Rodriguez to make what looks to be a rather clumsy challenge. Replays show that he did indeed get the ball. Great call from the ref...
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 0-2 REAL MADRID (JAMES RODRIGUEZ)
Well, well, well... What strike from Rodriguez to make it 2-0 to the visitors. The new signing receives the ball in space and unleashes an unstoppable shot into the top left corner from all of 25 yards out. Stunning hit from the Colombian.
The hosts have it all to do now as Madrid look like they want to go in for the kill. Deportivo look a little shell-shocked after that smash-and-grab 10 minutes.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 0-3 REAL MADRID (CRISTIANO RONALDO)
The visitors are now three nil to the good and it's a horrible piece of goalkeeping from Lux. For some reason he charges off his line to try and tackle Benzema despite the presence of defenders, with the loose ball landing at the feet of Ronaldo, who makes no mistake by lashing into an empty net. Madrid surely home and dry?
HALF TIME: DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 0-3 REAL MADRID
Ancelotti's men are three goals up at half time then and despite some lacklustre play from Deportivo, it's a scoreline Madrid probably deserve. They've been more willing to create and it's paid off at the Riazor, despite the hosts starting the game strongly. They might be buoyed by the fact Madrid have already lost from a winning position this season, but I doubt that will happen again this afternoon.
Things are back underway, with the hosts making two substitutes as Ivan Cavaleiro
replaces Helder Postiga and Juan Dominguez comes on for Juanfran.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1-3 REAL MADRID (HARIS MEDUNJANIN PENALTY)
La Coruna have grabbed themselves a slender lifeline! The hosts break forward down the flank and a ball is whipped into the box, which appears to brush the arm of defender Sergio Ramos. The referee gives the penalty straight away, despite consternation from the away side. Medunjanin makes not mistake from the spot as he steps up to crash his effort into the bottom corner, sending Iker Casillas the wrong way.
Are the Madrid nerves jangling now? This could be Sociedad all over again... Cavaleiro has been the spark of inspiration for the home side since being introduced at the break. His pace and guile is keeping Madrid's defence on the back foot when he comes forward.
CLOSE! Deportivo are making this early pressure count, this time as Cuenca drives towards goal. He lets fly from a speculative distance, but it rebounds into the path of Farina, who fires in an adroit volley at Casillas, who saves well. The hosts smell blood!
SUBSTITUTION: Ancelotti senses that a change is needed as he looks to sure up his side's midfield. As a result, Benzema is replaced by Asier Illarramendi.
CLOSE! Madrid try to restore their lead as Rodriguez shows steel in midfield to win the ball back, before playing a wonderful chipped ball in behind the defence for Ronaldo to chase. It looks as though the striker is through on goal, but the linesman raises his flag for offside.
YELLOW CARD! Despite the pressure from La Coruna, Madrid's attack seem unfazed. Kroos shows great skill in the middle of the pitch to feed Ronaldo, who shifts away from the defender in order to get a shot away. However, he's brought down by a rash tackle from Sidnei, who is shown a yellow card.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1-4 REAL MADRID (GARETH BALE)
The away side restore their three-goal lead! Marcelo is the main architect as he gets forward into a position on the edge of the box. He picks out the run of Bale, who nips in behind the back-four and lashes a quick-fire shot in off the post, with Lux looking totally perplexed.
That strike has surely taken the wind out of La Coruna's sails? They started the second half so brightly, but the margins are mighty fine when you're facing a side with the attacking quality of Madrid – 15 minutes of great work from the hosts and now they're back at square one... through no fault of their own, really.
Madrid make another change, this time as Luka Modric
is replaced by Isco
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1-5 REAL MADRID (GARETH BALE)
I fear the worst for the hosts, I really do. Bale makes it five for the visitors as he gets hold of an Isco pass as the substitute looks to drift in from the wing. He picks out Welshman inside the box, who fires a rising strike into the top corner to make it 5-1. Tremendous teamwork from the Madrid pair.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO 1-6 REAL MADRID (CRISTIANO RONALDO)
Real have really turned on the spark, with Ronaldo collecting their sixth of the game to send a clear message that they're getting back to form. It's a piece of poor defending at the heart of the goal, as Sidnei allows Rodriguez to snatch at an attempted clearance and play in Ronaldo at the back post. The Portuguese frontman can taste his hat-trick and flashes a powerful effort past Lux.
We're heading into the final ten minutes with Deportivo clearly looking at damage limitation now. This second-half performance should do wonders for any lingering doubts in the Madrid players' minds.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 2-6 REAL MADRID (TOUCHE)
It's too little too late, but La Coruna have pulled one back. Madrid might be concerned about some poor defending as Cuenca comes in off the wing to turn in a superb delivery for substitute Touche, who gets up brilliantly to flash a header past Casillas.
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 2-7 REAL MADRID (JAVIER HERNANDEZ)
This is all getting a bit silly, don't you think? Madrid grab a seventh thanks to substitute and Manchester United loanee Javier Hernandez
. He's literally just been introduced and with one of his first touches he finds the net. This is probably the pick of the bunch this afternoon too. Isco sends in a bouncing pass towards the Mexican, who produces an adroit half volley that flies into the top corner. Amazing stuff!
GOAL! DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 2-8 REAL MADRID (JAVIER HERNANDEZ)
Of course... An eighth! Hernandez rounds off an extraordinary afternoon with a brace, but Chicharito is a little lucky this time as he effort is deflected and loops over a helpless Lux.
FULL TIME: DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 2-8 REAL MADRID
There we have it, Real Madrid claim an astonishing 8-2 victory over home side Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor in La Liga. Ancelotti's men have surely silenced the early-season doubters following a few suspect displays. La Coruna were not that bad this afternoon, but have still found themselves on the end of a humiliating scoreline. Five second-half goals for the visitors, with Ronaldo grabbing a hat-trick!