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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid 5 - 0 Leganes

A blow out at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid batter Leganes

Real Madrid vs Leganes: La Liga Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Thrice this season Real Madrid have gone 3 - 0 up at home. The first two ended 3 - 2 and 4 - 2 against Levante and Granada respectively — with semi-sweaty finished which should’ve been more comfortable than they were. Tonight’s three-goal lead against Leganes felt different, though, in what was a dominating performance against a lifeless team dwelling in the La Liga basemen — nay, abyss — as they were battered over and over again by a sharp Real Madrid attack.

All of Real Madrid’s goals can be chalked up to offensive brilliance aided by lackadaisical defending from Leganes — a team whose manager walked away from last week and whose confidence is spiralling. On the Real’s first goal, Rodrygo started the sequence with a vertical pass to Benzema before moving into the box. The Brazilian patiently kept himself in a good position (while being ignored by Kenneth Omeruo) while Hazard danced on the left, Marcelo crossed, and Benzema squared it:

Just one minute later, it was 2 - 0. Omeruo let Kroos get to the ball first to finish off another Benzema assist. In the 25th minute, Ramos scored a penalty to make it 3 - 0. (The penalty was initially saved by Leganes goalkeeper Soriano, but it was ordered to be retaken as the referee deemed Soriano to be off his line during the save. Ramos scored on the second attempt.) In the 69th minute, Omreuo hacked down Modric in the box, and Benzema made it 4 - 0 with another penalty.

(It should be noted that Real Madrid’s third goal came from a beautiful play from Casemiro, who won possession in midfield and played a surgical through-ball to Hazard. The Belgian took a heavy touch initially, but was able to round Soriano before getting fouled in the box.)

And throughout, Leganes allowed Real Madrid to do whatever they wanted. They did little to thwart the team’s build-up. Hazard, Marcelo, and Benzema were allowed to make off-ball runs all across the pitch. Even when Leganes had numbers surrounding a white shirt, they opted not to swarm the ball carrier when they could’ve won possession, and in turn they allowed open players to receive the ball freely in dangerous positions. This is a shadow of the team Mauricio Pellegrino built last season.

Luka Jovic scored his first goal of the season late in the half, as he shook of his defender to get free for a far-post header. Somehow, at just five goals, Leganes looked lucky not to concede more.

The only shot from Leganes in the first half came from Real Madrid loanees Oscar Rodriguez, who’s brilliant shot from outside the box — his specialty — was tipped over by Thibaut Courtois.

There will be a few minor nits to pick on tonight’s post-game podcast, but this was a really good performance from Zidane’s men, particularly from Rodrygo, Benzema, and Kroos. We’ll break this down in the coming hours.

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