James Rodriguez scored a brace as Real Madrid did their part to keep pace with Barcelona in the La Liga title race with a 5-1 win at Deportivo La Coruna.
Zinedine Zidane rested a number of starters from Sunday’s 3-2 Clasico loss to Barcelona, calling on the likes of James, Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Morata up front.
And the Los Blancos reserves repaid his faith on the day with Morata opening the scoring in the first minute.
James followed up with his first of the match in 14 minutes — the Colombia international passing out wide before stabbing home Vazquez’s cross from the centre of the box.
Florin Andone gave Real something to think about with his goal in the 35th minute. But Vazquez restored Real’s lead a minute before half-time.
A straightforward strike from James and a wonderful goal from Isco after the break made it a rout before former Castilla product Joselu added a second for Depor.
Substitute Casemiro scored a stunner from dastance to complete the scoreline on the day.
The win keeps Real level on points with their Catalan rivals while still holding a game in hand.
Barcelona blitzed Osasuna with four goals in 10 second-half minutes for a 7-1 victory at the Camp Nou.
Luis Enrique rested several of his regular starters, including Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba — an understandable move following gruelling matches against Juventus and Real Madrid, and before the weekend’s derby at Espanyol.
It seemed it would not matter much after Lionel Messi struck early and Andre Gomes extended the lead before half-time.
However, the decision might have been briefly questioned when Roberto Torres pulled a goal back at the start of the second half.
However, Gomes and Messi both got their second goals of the evening either side of the hour mark to put the game to bed and Paco Alcacer and Javier Mascherano, the latter from the penalty spot, quickly added gloss to the scoreline with just 67 minutes on the clock.
Alcacer became the third player to net a double with four minutes remaining.