0-6 win, five goals from your star. Not bad, huh? Still, Rafa Benítez sounded pleased yet not overly-excited about his team's game, as he still sees room for improvement.
To no one's surprise, the Spanish coach was first asked about Cristiano Ronaldo's ridiculous performance:
When you get such a win, I prefer to talk about the team in general, but you can't overlook Ronaldo scoring five goals. I'm very pleased with the result and the way we accomplished it. As always, we have to improve on many aspects so we have to keep working.
On Real Madrid's three straight clean sheets:
Obviously, our goal was to score and try to win the game, and once the game turned out the way it did after the first half, then we had to be more careful on defence. We had to help Keylor get that record of not allowing a goal for the first three games of the season while still trying to attack.
Was this kind of a dream-like win for Benítez?:
This kind of win is very satisfying. Getting such a win on the road is great, but a dream-like win? I think we can still improve a lot, and I'm saying this not to sound cocky. I'm just being objective.
On Rafa having a such a scoring machine like Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time in his career:
I said, from day one, that this was going to be an attacking team that was going to score a lot of goals. However, we're still trying to achieve some balance on defence as well, without forgetting to attack.
On what does Benítez ask of his attackers:
I try to give them freedom to move around to create some mismatches to opposing defences. That has been the key to creating so many chances today. Facing players of such high quality is tough as it is, so you have to use their mobility and intelligence to create dangerous chances, which they will score on eventually.
On Cristiano breaking Raúl's La Liga scoring record and where would Rafa rank the Portuguese phenom among Real Madrid's all-time greats:
I think the numbers speak for themselves. Someone who scores so many goals has a special place reserved in history, just as Raúl and Alfredo Di Stéfano. We're talking of three ridiculous players. I just hope Cristiano keeps scoring and making his legend bigger, for his own good and ours.
Was this a bit too easy?:
Not at all. We played a great game and were very effective, but there's a lot of things we have to improve. Espanyol did what they had to do: they opened the field, crossed the ball, got near our box. They did lots of things right, but we were just too effective for them.