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Real Madrid vs Betis, La Liga 15/16: Match review

James Rodríguez and Benzema shine on their return to Real's starting XI.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

It did not take long for Benzema and James Rodríguez to prove that they deserve a starting spot in this Real Madrid squad. James scored twice, assisted Bale for Real's opening goal and Karim Benzema added one of his own to seal Real's comfortable 5-0 win.

Still, Keylor Navas will share the spotlight with James after this one. The Costa Rican started the match which could've been his last for Real Madrid if Los Blancos finally complete the signing of De Gea. Turns out that he stopped one penalty-kick and made a memorable save right before the half-time whistle. Keylor clearly doesn't want to leave the club and the fans are not ready to see his departure either as they sang his name on several occasions throughout the match.

The game was almost over as soon as Bale scored on the first minute. After that opening goal, Real Madrid clearly tried to control the tempo of the game through the midfield. Madrid didn't create many opportunities until James scored off a brilliantly taken free-kick that touched the net after hitting the far post. He didn't have enough with that so after Benzema made it 3-0 James decided to score a candidate for Goal of the Year off a bicycle kick. He was close to Betis' goal so it's true that the Colombian did not need to add much power to his shot, but it still was something to see.

In other news, Gareth Bale also made a statement with a brace and an assist. The Welsh player was heavily criticized after the 0-0 draw to Sporting Gijón and tonight he showed that he has many things to offer if he plays with freedom behind the striker. His second goal which ended the game 5-0 was an astonishing long-distance shot that hit the post before going in. He is definitely one of the best from outside the box.

In other news, Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be uncomfortable with his role. He had many chances to score tonight but his accuracy just wasn't there. Real Madrid will surely need him down the road so the Portuguese needs to get back on scoring form as soon as possible.

All things considered, Real Madrid earned all three points in very good fashion. Players like Bale, Keylor Navas and James don't have a chip on their shoulder anymore after their brilliant display tonight. Betis have just promoted to the Liga BBVA and things will not be this easy against elite opposition, but Benítez and his players have every right to enjoy and build on this win.

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