Carlo Ancelotti’s reign as Real Madrid manager got off the perfect start as his side hammered Bournemouth 6-0 on Sunday.
The former Milan boss was given a gentle introduction to life with the Spanish club, as his side took on a team who only last season secured promotion to the second tier of English football.
And a Cristiano Ronaldo double followed by goals from Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria and Casemiro ensured Real’s superior stature was underlined in ruthless fashion at Dean Court.
Eddie Howe’s team battled bravely throughout in front of a packed crowd, many of whom had paid as much as £60 for the privilege of being present, but were clearly second best throughout against a star-studded opposition line-up.
It took just 21 minutes for Ronaldo to break the deadlock, as he hammered home a free-kick from the edge of the box beyond the despairing dive of Darryl Flahavan.
The Portuguese then doubled his tally and that of the visitors by rounding the keeper coolly before tapping home from close-range.
Madrid even had time to grab a third goal before the break as Khedira poked home an attempted clearance from a corner to send Ancelotti’s team in 3-0 to the good.
The Italian made a string of changes during half-time, with the withdrawal of goalscorers Khedira and Ronaldo handing opportunities to the likes of Alvaro Morata and want-away forward Higuain.
Higuain’s participation in the fixture came off the back of strong suggestions that he had been the subject of a bid from Napoli earlier in the day, but the Argentinian appeared undistracted as he broke away from the Bournemouth backline before finishing emphatically in the 46th minute.
His countryman and fellow substitute Di Maria was soon also on the scoresheet, as he grabbed his team’s fifth in the 68th minute by smashing the ball into the bottom corner from the centre of the box after cutting in from the right wing.
And the rout was completed by Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, who showed his composure to lift the ball over the keeper after finding himself in one-on-one late on.