Well, the Zinedine Zidane era is going swimmingly.
Two games into his tenure as Real Madrid manager, Zidane has a 5-0 win last week, and now a 5-1 win over Sporting Gijon gives the new Whites manager a six points out of six.
The win was highlighted by a pair of goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, including one spectacular volley. With his back to goal, Ronaldo whipped his body around and dropped the left-footed boom on Sporting goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar, who had no chance to stop the howitzer which buried into the top corner.
The game also featured an early goal by Gareth Bale, who has been in scorching hot form, but Bale was withdrawn at halftime with what appeared to be a recurrence of the nagging calf injury that has seen him miss five matches already this season. Then, Karim Benzema had to be removed on 65 minutes after scoring twice, as he came up limping and was swapped for Mateo Kovacic.
If the injuries prove minimal, Madrid could finish January with flying colors. Their upcoming schedule features games against Espanyol, Real Betis, and Grenada – all 14th or lower in the La Liga table – and if we’ve learned anything about Zidane’s Real Madrid, it’s that they love to beat up on the lower teams. Madrid sits one point off Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, but they have played one game more than Atletico and two more than Barcelona, who sits one point back.