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Bale gives Zidane boosting start, Messi lifts Barca further

Baba Health Tips

Zinedine Zidane got off to a flying start as Real Madrid coach when Gareth Bale hit a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday after a Lionel Messi treble had fired Barcelona to the top of La Liga.

Zidane, a former Real and France midfielder who took over from the sacked Rafa Benitez on Monday, was given a hero’s welcome by his adoring fans at the Bernabeu and the team responded with a dominant performance, with Karim Benzema scoring twice, against ninth-placed Deportivo.

A sparkling Messi had earlier inspired Barca to a 4-0 success at home to struggling Granada that lifted the Spanish and European champions above Atletico Madrid into top spot at the halfway stage of the campaign.

The Real faithful gave Zidane a rousing reception before kickoff, in marked contrast to their recent treatment of the unpopular Benitez, who was abruptly discarded after less than half a season in charge.

Zidane had in-form compatriot Benzema to thank for opening the scoring in the 15th minute when he cleverly backheeled a Sergio Ramos effort past Deportivo goalkeeper German Lux.

Bale, who scored four goals against Rayo Vallecano last month, made it 2-0 seven minutes later when he headed in a Dani Carvajal centre and the Wales winger crossed for Cristiano Ronaldo to nod against a post six minutes before halftime.

Ronaldo turned provider four minutes into the second half and Bale clipped the Portugal forward’s low cross firmly past Lux to make it 3-0.

The world’s most expensive player completed his hat-trick, his third for Real, in the 63rd minute when he powered another header into the net from a Toni Kroos corner.

Bale is the first player in La Liga to score two trebles this season and the fans gave him a huge send-off when he was replaced by James Rodriguez with around 15 minutes left.

Ronaldo squandered a host of chances before Benzema crashed home a shot in added time.

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