Cristiano Ronaldo made a goalscoring return to the Real Madrid line-up as they ran riot in a 5-2 battering of Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
The talismanic forward had not played a competitive fixture since injuring his left knee during Portugal’s Euro 2016 final victory over France on July 10.
However, Ronaldo made up for lost time by opening his account for the campaign with a simple tap-in, after selfless play from Gareth Bale.
And it was cruise control for Madrid when two goals in the last five minutes of the first half, from Danilo and Sergio Ramos, made it 3-0 at the break.
Pepe’s header and a fine drive from Luka Modric extended the lead in the second half, before Osasuna mounted a rally with goals from Oriol Riera and David Garcia either side of a missed penalty from Roberto Torres.
Tano’s late red card meant Osasuna finished with 10 men, as Zinedine Zidane’s side maintained their 100 per cent winning start to LaLiga ahead of the start of their Champions League defence against Sporting CP on Wednesday.
On a stifling hot day in the Spanish capital, it took just six minutes for Ronaldo to make an impact.
Danilo clipped a ball in behind and Bale burst free down the right flank before squaring for Ronaldo to tap into an unguarded goal.
Bale came close to doubling the lead with a well-hit 25-yard drive before Unai Garcia handed Madrid a warning with a thumping header that crashed against the crossbar at the other end.
It was 2-0 five minutes before the break, though. Nauzet was out quick to parry Alvaro Morata’s header from Ronaldo’s dinked cross, but Danilo picked up the scraps and lashed in the rebound.
The game was all but over on the stroke of half-time as Ramos’ near-post run from Toni Kroos’ corner went untracked and the centre-back thundered his header past Nauzet.
Madrid continued to dominate after the restart and Nauzet was out quick to deny Bale following another lightning counter.
But the goalkeeper was at fault for Madrid’s fourth. Another Kroos corner caused havoc and Pepe’s downward header was parried into the goal by Nauzet.
There was no let up from Madrid and Morata held off a challenge in the area before teeing up Modric, who curled a fine effort into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the box.
Madrid were caught cold when Miguel de las Cuevas’ right-wing centre was met with a thumping header from Riera to give the Osasuna fans something to cheer.
Osasuna felt hard done by when Oier also had the ball in the back of the net, only for the referee to have already awarded a penalty for Sergio Ramos’ barge on Jaime Romero, and their mood worsened when Kiko Casilla saved Torres’ spot-kick low to his right.
Karim Benzema, himself returning from injury for Madrid, came off the bench for his first LaLiga appearance of the campaign and hit the woodwork twice in the closing stages.
Osasuna added further respectability to the scoreline with a sublime flicked header from David Garcia that looped over Casilla, but they finished the match with 10 men when Tano was shown a second yellow card for a careless clip on Nacho.
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