Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez doubles guide Real Madrid to victory

Rafael Benitez’s side move up to third in La Liga’s Primera Division

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez had two goals each as Real Madrid claimed a comfortable 5-0 victory over Real Betis in a high-tempo Primera Division match at the Bernabeu.

Record signing Gareth Bale also scored a brace while Cristiano Ronaldo was denied many times as Rafael Benitez took charge of his first home game for the Spanish giants as they moved up to third in the table.

Bale got the ball rolling early on while James netted either side of the break before the returning Karim Benzema – back after a thigh injury – headed home a fourth and Bale finished the rout after 89 minutes with a stunning solo effort.

Thomas Vermaelen was the unlikely hero as Barcelona laboured to a 1-0 win over Malaga to maintain their 100 per cent start.


The former Arsenal defender smashed in the only goal of the match with 17 minutes remaining at the Nou Camp, just when Barca looked set to draw a blank against Javi Gracia’s dogged outfit for the third successive game.

Cameroonian goalkeeper Carlos Kameni made a string of vital saves in the second half but could only palm Luis Suarez's cross from the left towards the penalty spot, where Vermaelan was waiting to lash into the empty net and score his first goal for the Catalan club in only his third league start since joining more than a year ago.

Celta Vigo also made it two wins from two by easing to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Rayo Vallecano.

The visitors had goalkeeper Tono sent off when the game was barely 10 minutes old and Nolito converted the subsequent penalty to put Eduardo Berrizo’s side on their way to a second successive victory. The Celta forward struck again early in the second half, while midfielder Andreu Fontas added a third moments before the final whistle.

Rayo were thrashed 6-1 at Balaidos last season and coach Paco Jemez must have braced himself for a similar result when he saw Tono bring down Daniel Wass when the Dane was clean through on goal.

Earlier on Saturday in La Liga, David Moyes' Real Sociedad again failed to score as they played out a 0-0 draw with Sporting Gijon.

Sporting held Real Madrid to a goalless draw last weekend and also produced a solid display at the Anoeta.

The result moved both sides onto two points for the campaign, still yet to score or concede a goal.