Real Madrid thump Rayo Vallecano to extend winning run

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Real Madrid extended their winning run to 13 games with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu. Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos had Real 2-0 up but an error from James Rodriguez allowed Alberto Bueno to score and give the visitors some hope at the break. That would not last long, though, as second-half goals from Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Carlo Ancelotti's men regain their two-point lead at the top of the Primera Division. The game got off to a timid start but was brought to life in the ninth minute as Bale notched his fifth league goal of the season. Ronaldo took control of the ball 25 yards out and fed Kroos on the right who supplied a low cross across the face of goal for Bale to easily slot home. Rayo fought back and the home side had to scramble desperately to clear a corner before Gael Kakuta fired wide from distance. Keylor Navas was called upon to make two saves in a minute as the visitors put up solid resistance but Benzema headed against the bar from a corner and it was a set-piece that brought Real's second. Rodriguez supplied the corner and Ramos volleyed home off his knee to double the lead five minutes before the break. The two-goal deficit would last just four minutes, however, courtesy of a calamitous error from Rodriguez. Navas' clearance to the Colombian was ill-judged and the forward's return pass was well short allowing Leo Baptistao to swoop in and pass to Bueno who had a simple close-range finish. That goal must have given Rayo some hope but that was soon extinguished by two goals in four minutes for the European champions. Ronaldo cut in from the right and found Kroos 25 yards out, allowing the German to fire a sensational low, curling finish into the bottom corner. It was 4-1 a minute before the hour but Real were fortunate as Benzema was clearly offside when Ronaldo's pass found the Frenchman six yards out to tap home. An error from Navas almost gifted Rayo a way back when the goalkeeper came to punch and missed, allowing Abdoulaye Ba to watch his lobbed finish drift agonisingly wide. Cristian Alvarez made a brilliant save to deny Bale his second as he stopped a swerving, dipping long-range effort but the keeper was at fault when Ronaldo scored for the 16th consecutive league game at the Bernabeu with seven minutes remaining. Ramos threaded a pass to the Portuguese and he stepped inside his man and hit a tame shot which Alcarez let squirm through his palms and his legs to complete the scoring.