Swatting away worries of form and a lack of goals, Real Madrid thumped Rayo Vallecano 1-0 in the La Liga on Sunday.
Gareth Bale grabbed four goals, Karim Benzema completed a hat-trick and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in the mauling of Vallecano, albeit thanks largely to the fact that the away team played with only nine men for the majority of the "contest."
It might have been a completely different result had Rayo been able to keep all 11 men on the field, as they went into the lead after 12 minutes.
Danilo opened the scoring for Real Madrid in just the third minute of the match, but the lead only lasted seven minutes as Antonio Amaya equalised. A couple of minutes later, it looked like being one of those forgettable outing under Rafa Benitez for this Real Madrid team again, when Jozabed fired home.
However, Real Madrid were given a massive lifeline in the 14th minute as Tito received his marching orders after a poor tackle on Toni Kroos. Gareth Bale equalised on 25 minutes, before it went completely pear-shaped for Vallecano, with Jose Raul Baena conceding a penalty, which was dispatched by Ronaldo, and with it receiving a second yellow card.
With the lead and a two-man advantage, it was just a matter of how many, and that answer came via the boots of Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo.
"There were three phases in the match -- the first, in which we scored and did what we knew we were capable of doing, and constantly looked to get in behind their defenders; the second, when we conceded two goals and needed to pay more attention in defence; and the third, when the team got into the game by making the most of the numerical advantage," Benitez said.
"From that point on we did what we needed to do -- score goals.
"Unlike the players I get to leave the dressing room a bit later and focus on the game. We started scoring and the supporters were happy. None of us want to make mistakes and when we overcome them we have to take advantage of the situation presented to us, and that's what we did."