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La Liga: Real Madrid Beat Rayo Vallecano 10 : 2

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The away team threatened early on but could not recover from losing Triguero and Baena in the first half-hour, and the game quickly turned into a training exercise for the hosts

Real Madrid suffered an early scare but eventually made numerical superiority tell at the Santiago Bernabeu, as they cruised to an 10-2 drubbing of nine-man Rayo Vallecano. 

Sections of the home support whistled under-fire manager Rafael Benitez before kick-off and his players received similar treatment at half-time despite being 4-2 to the good against depleted opponents.

Gareth Bale turned a first-half brace into a four-goal haul, quelling the early discontent that had long subsided by the time Karim Benzema completed a hat-trick in the final minute.

Danilo gave Madrid a third-minute lead but quickfire efforts from Antonio Amaya and Jozabed had neighbouring Rayo dreaming of a famous triumph.

Those ambitions were undermined when Tito hacked into Toni Kroos to be sent off and, after Bale equalised, Raul Baena also received his marching orders – preceding a successful penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Benzema opened and closed the second-half mauling, while Ronaldo headed a second and Bale made hay.

Madrid are now within two points of champions Barcelona, who wrapped up Club World Cup glory in Japan earlier on Sunday, but the bizarre nature of this rout is unlikely to bring many Benitez doubters onside.