Madrid's main man: Bale shows Ronaldo the way as Real rediscover goal touch

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The Welsh winger struck twice to lead Los Blancos to an impressive win at home to Deportivo as Zinedine Zidane's side banished their Bernabeu blues

This was more like it from Real Madrid. The Spanish champions were in danger of losing three successive league games at home for the first time in their history, but rediscovered their touch in front of goal to secure an emphatic victory. And Gareth Bale played a pivotal part.

Zinedine Zidane's side went behind early on and it looked like another frustrating afternoon could be on the cards following back-to-back defeats at the Bernabeu to Barcelona and Villarreal.

But after Nacho had levelled for Los Blancos, Bale made it 2-1 with a lovely curled effort, the ball whistling past Cristiano Ronaldo's ear as the Portuguese appealed for a penalty.

With that strike, Bale became the first Real Madrid player to reach five goals in La Liga. And the mere fact that it took until Los Blancos' 19th fixture in the competition, on January 21, was a reminder of the side's struggles in the Primera Division this term.

A Bale header later made it 3-1 to Real and that was his ninth goal in all competitions this season, matching his return from last season. This time, the nine have arrived in just 17 appearances, though, compared to 27 last term.

The Welshman has been Madrid's most effective attacker in the current campaign, with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both below their best. Unfortunately for Madrid, however, he has been missing far too often with injury.

Zidane will hope his problems are now over and that Bale can carry on performing at this level, without injuries, until the end of the season. Madrid will be much better off if that can happen.

Ronaldo also ended with two goals as Real ran riot in the closing stages, the Portuguese converting with a tap-in at the far post and later a fine header as he took a boot to the face that left him floored and needing treatment.

Gareth Bale Real Madrid Deportivo LaLiga

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Deportivo LaLiga

Prior to this match, Cristiano had netted just four in 14 appearances in La Liga this season and his double was more good news for Zidane as Madrid look to challenge in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League over the next few months, as well as returning to the top three in La Liga.

Winning the Primera Division seems impossible now with Barca 19 points ahead at the start of this weekend, but with the goals flying in once more Real could yet finish the season with some satisfaction as they prioritise the new two knockout competitions over the weeks and months ahead.

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Real Madrid Deportivo score

Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo have not started a game all together for Los Blancos since last season's Clasico defeat at home to Barcelona in April, but the three forwards all featured here and could be reunited soon.

That and a return to 4-3-3 should see some improvement from Madrid and it will be much needed as Paris Saint-Germain lie in wait in the Champions League next month. Now, if only they can all stay fit...

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