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James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale top Real Madrid ratings in Real Betis demolition

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik breaks down Gareth Bale's importance to Real Madrid in attack citing the teamwork betweek James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale to be the key contributing factor in their 5-0 win.

On Saturday, the Santiago Bernabeu witnessed Real Madrid earning its first win of the season against a subdued, timid Real Betis squad unable to stop a host hungry for goals.

The Madridistas desperately needed all three points to avoid potential claims of an early crisis after their 0-0 draw last weekend in Gijon and Barcelona's two wins in its first two matches. Madrid also wanted an emphatic win to stop a growing tide of critics who believed the side should perform at a higher level.

Rafael Benitez's...

 By PA Sport

Thomas Vermaelen's winning goal no surprise to Barcelona's Luis Enrique

Barcelona defeated Malaga by a narrow 1-0 win at the Camp Nou with a goal from the most unlikeliest of sources in defender Thomas Vermaelen.
Thomas Vermaelen's lone goal was enough for Barcelona to defeat Malaga on Saturday.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insisted he was "not surprised" that it was Thomas Vermaelen who came to his side's rescue as they saw off Malaga thanks to the defender's late winner.

While Lionel Messi had four shots saved by the visitors on-form goalkeeper Carlos Kameni and fellow forwards Neymar and Luis Suarez also came unstuck against Malaga's defence, it fell to the Belgian in the 73rd minute to power home the only goal of what was a testing game for the Primera Division champions.

The goal was...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

James Rodriguez quickly returned to form for Real, says 'delighted' Benitez

It seems Real Madrid have fully recovered from the goal drought they experienced last, with braces by both Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.
ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik breaks down Gareth Bale's importance to Real Madrid in attack citing the teamwork betweek James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale to be the key contributing factor in their 5-0 win.

Rafael Benitez hailed the class of James Rodriguez after he played a starring role in Real Madrid's 5-0 demolition of Real Betis on Saturday.

Rodriguez scored twice and had a hand in two more goals while Gareth Bale also had a brace to add to a goal from Karim Benzema.

"James came much later than the rest of the group after the Copa America but is quickly catching up," Benitez said after the game.

"His quality is not a matter of debate. When he has to play, he'll play."

Real MadridReal Madrid
Real BetisReal Betis
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Benitez declared himself...

Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez lead Real Madrid's rout of Real Betis

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik breaks down Gareth Bale's importance to Real Madrid in attack citing the teamwork betweek James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale to be the key contributing factor in their 5-0 win.

MADRID -- Three things from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and Real Madrid's even easier than it sounds 5-0 thumping of Real Betis in Saturday evening's La Liga clash.

1. Bale's timing spot on

Gareth Bale came into this match with a point to prove. The world's most expensive player had been singled out as the main issue with the team's attack after last weekend's disappointing 0-0 draw at Sporting Gijon. His positioning as a No. 10 became a matter of much debate among Bernabeu fans and pundits over...