Jude Bellingham hit 20 goals for the season as he and Vinicius Junior combined to put Girona to the sword and send Real Madrid five points clear at the top of the LaLiga table.
The England midfielder scored twice, both set up by Vinicius who opened the scoring before Rodrygo wrapped up a 4-0 win with a fine run and finish. Substitute Joselu also missed a late penalty.
It was only Girona’s second defeat of the league campaign, the first also coming at the hands of Carlo Ancelotti’s men, and it was as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests.
With visiting head coach Michel banned from the touchline following his dismissal for leaving his technical area during last weekend’s draw with Real Sociedad, and Ancelotti forced to field a makeshift back-four with injuries biting heavily into his resources, the reigning uncertainty. around the Bernabeu stadium when the match started.
However, the home side’s fears were allayed within six minutes when Vinicius picked up possession on the left, cut inside Ivan Martin and curled an unstoppable right-footed shot past goalkeeper Paul Gazzaniga and onto the far post.
With Toni Kroos dictating play, Madrid continued to look the more threatening and Girona captain Juanpe was mightily relieved to concede a free-kick on the edge of the box and not a penalty after rudely breaking up Eduardo Camavinga’s blistering run towards goal in the 21st minute. .
Federico Valverde curled the resulting play straight into the arms of Gazzaniga, but the home side’s efforts to build on an encouraging start were little relented.
Bellingham dragged a shot wide in the 32nd minute but made amends within three minutes when he ran onto Vinicius’ superb ball past Eric Garcia to round Gazzaniga to make it 2-0.
Vinicius slotted wide after the replay as the whistle approached, but the sides headed to the dressing rooms with the hosts very much in the driving seat.
Having not offered much before the break, the visitors returned in determined mood and Ferland Mendy claimed one last clearance to cut out Miguel Gutierrez’s inviting cross as they finally began to make an impact going forward.
However, their hopes suffered another blow on nine minutes when Vinicius cut in from the left and saw Gazzaniga deflect his shot straight at Bellingham, who tapped into an empty net.
The Englishman’s evening ended prematurely after 57 minutes when he was replaced by Brahim Diaz after suffering an ankle injury.
However, his loss was not felt by his team and Rodrigo extended their lead within four minutes, receiving a pass from Vinicius before running in and emphatically slotting past Gazzaniga.
It should have been 5-0 at the death, but Joselu hit the post with a penalty after Yan Cout’s foul on Arda Guler.
Real Madrid player ratings
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.
SUB: Brahim Diaz (57′ for Bellingham) – 6/10
SUB: Joselu (70′ for Rodrygo) – 6/10
SUB: Luka Modric (70′ for Kroos) – 6/10
SUB: Fran Garcia (77′ for Mendy) – 6/10
SUB: Arda Guler (77′ for Vinicius) – 6/10