Cristiano Ronaldo nets brace but suffers nasty cut to his face in Madrid rout of Deportivo
Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo needed stitches after the big win. AP

MADRID — Despite watching Cristiano Ronaldo go off covered in blood, Real Madrid fans got to celebrate at home again with the team's biggest win of the season in the Spanish league.

Ronaldo, who left the game late with a cut to his face, scored twice as Madrid routed Deportivo La Coruna, 7-1, on Sunday, ending a three-match winless streak at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and easing the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane and his players.

"The players needed a game like this, a victory with a lot of goals," Zidane said. "It's always good to score seven times at home. It's not something that happens very often so we are happy about it. We have to keep this momentum going."

Gareth Bale and Nacho Fernandez also scored twice, and Luka Modric added another goal for Madrid as it regained fourth place in the standings. Madrid remains 19 points behind leader Barcelona, which later routed Real Betis, 5-0, in Seville with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each scoring a pair of goals.

At the start of the league's second half, Barcelona is 11 points in front of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 14 points ahead of Valencia. Atletico lost ground after a 1-1 home draw against Girona on Saturday, while Valencia lost 2-1 at Las Palmas.

Madrid is five points behind Valencia but has a game in hand.

Ronaldo had to leave with about five minutes remaining after being hit by defender Fabian Schar's boot while scoring the team's sixth goal with a header. He was attended on the field for a while and could not continue as blood spilled over his face.

While walking off the field, with his face still stained by the blood, Ronaldo asked for the doctor's cell phone to take a look at the injury.

Zidane said the Portugal forward needed "two or three stitches but was fine."

Madrid had already made three substitutions, but the much-needed victory was already secured by then.

The fans who had loudly jeered the team in recent matches were cheering on their feet after the final whistle at the Bernabeu. The easy win followed a series of poor results that all but ended Madrid's title chances.

"We played a perfect match," Madrid midfielder Casemiro said.

Deportivo, in the relegation zone and winless in five games, gave Madrid an early scare when Adrian Lopez opened the scoring midway through the first half.

Nacho and Bale helped Madrid rally before halftime, and each scored again in the second half along with Modric. Bale's first goal came from a neat left-footed shot that was curled into the top corner by the far post.


Ronaldo, who hadn't found the net in three games and had been among those criticized by fans, scored with a shot from close range just a few minutes before getting injured. He did not celebrate.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph