It seemed a meaningless game for Los Blancos, who had already secured the first place, but Ancelotti set up a competitive team to complete a perfect performance in the Champions League group stage and extend their current winning streak once again. Ronaldo, Bale, Arbeloa and the young Álvaro Medrán scored in a really cold night in Madrid for the fans to go home with a smile on their faces.
Real Madrid: Navas; Arbeloa, Varane, Nacho, Coentrao (Marcelo, 60'); Illarramendi, Kroos (Jesé, 60'), Isco; Bale (Medrán, 83'), Chicharito, Ronaldo.
Ludogorets: Stojanov; Caiçara, Terziev, Moti, Minev; Dyakov, Espinho (Anicet, 63'); Akeksandrov (Wanderson, 61'), Marcelinho (sent off, 20'), Misidjan (Quixadà, 72'); Abalo.
Both teams started the game focused in their offensive output and, apparently, not paying any attention to their defence, and this resulted in some crazy minutes with some relatively dangerous approaches by both contenders that did not cause any trouble to their goalkeepers. By the fifth minute, however, Illarramendi and Kroos increased their workrate and Ludogorets lost their chances to progress in Real Madrid's side of the field. The Basque's performance was fantastic, as he clearly got to dominate the midfield and set the pace that would suit his partners the better.
Soon enough, Real Madrid's attacks started to worry Stojanov. A free-kick by Bale first, and later a shot by Isco, who had received a brilliant pass from Illarramendi alone in the middle of the box, came before Real Madrid's first goal. Toni Kroos served a brilliant corner kick and Varane sent it to the goal with a magnificent header. Marcelinho, who was on top of the goal-line, blocked it with his hand, and the referee sent him off and called the penalty spot. Ronaldo, with a beautiful Panenka, put the 1-0 in the scoreboard.
The match was clearly over: it was the twentieth minute and Ludogorets were already losing and were one man down. Real Madrid controlled the game and kept pounding, and the second goal could have arrived early, either from a long shot by Kroos that hit the post or from a shot by one of our fullbacks, both of which had great chances, but it was Gareth Bale, once again after a corner kick sent in by Kroos, who extended Real Madrid's advantage before the break.
Nothing really changed in the second half. The Bulgarians found it really hard to steal and run in order to approach Navas's goal, since our defenders were fantastic tonight. Still, in the very few chances to shoot they had, Navas was brilliant and cleared all threats to our goal.
Jesé and Marcelo took the spots of Kroos and Coentrao around the sixtieth minute, and Real Madrid's goal occassions kept flowing constantly. Chicharito was really motivated to score, but his aim was not good enough, and nor was Bale's or Isco's, who also had easy shots that Stojanov was able to block. Arbeloa, once again after a corner kick, was finally able to get the third goal and, shortly after, Medrán, who had taken Bale's spot, got the fourth with a long shot that was deflected by a rival and misled Stojanov before entering into the goal.
Nineteen consecutive victories. Almería awaits on Friday, and we will travel to Marrakech on Saturday for the FIFA Club World Cup, where we will play on Tuesday and Saturday, after having known who our rival in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 will be. Hopefully, our men will be able to extend their winning streak, at least, until the end of the year.