Real Madrid were staring down the barrel once more when they went behind to Deportivo before finally starting to show off their firepower as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo both struck twice in a savage seven-goal response.
Adrian López’s opener from Arsenal loanee Lucas Perez’s cross gave a desperate Depor a shock lead even considering Madrid’s current plight.
Yet for once, the Spanish and European champions reacted like you would expect.
Nacho buried Marcelo’s cut-back to level before Bale took centre stage with two very different trademark goals.
First he used his trusty left foot to wrap around the ball and curl it into the top corner just before the break.
And he made sure of the points with a towering header in off the underside of the bar on the hour mark.
Luka Modric’s sumptuous finish made it four before a perfect day for Madrid was rounded off when Cristiano Ronaldo ended a four-game goal drought by converting Casemiro’s cross.
Ronaldo then even put his looks on the line as he was bloodied in stopping to head home his second before Nacho also grabbed his second of the afternoon.
A still 16-point gap to Barcelona means it’s too little, too late in La Liga but this was just the tonic Madrid needed with Paris Saint-Germain’s visit in the Champions League less than a month away.
1. Madrid stop the bleeding
A first league win in four games moved Madrid back into the top four, which is now their realistic target for the remainder of the league season.
Credit is due too to both the players and fans reaction when Depor took a shock lead midway through the first-half.
Staring at a third consecutive home defeat for the first time in 14 years, Real rebelled rather than resign to their fate.
The hosts laid siege to the Depor goal and finally got their rewards.
2. Bale at his best
For once Bale hushed Ronaldo’s complaints with a sensational strike to swing the game Madrid’s way just before the break.
As Ronaldo pleased in vain for the softest of spot-kicks, the Welshman curled home into the top corner on his left foot in classic style.
Bale’s double also made him Madrid’s top scorer in La Liga this season with six from just seven starts.
The former Spurs man has been relentlessly questioned due to his miserable injury record.
But if his fitness allows, right now he is by a distance Real’s most in-form forward.
3. BBC back together
When Karim Benzema replaced Borja Mayoral 25 minutes from time it was the first time all season he, Ronaldo and Bale had been on the pitch together all season.
Injuries have been one of many contributing factors to Madrid’s incredible slump from the standards set last season.
But with Benzema and Bale now back, there is still a chance of Champions League redemption.
4. More like Marcelo
One of those first in the firing line as a culprit of Madrid’s crisis has been Marcelo.
The Brazilian, so brilliant last season, has been questioned for his attitude in lax defensive displays as both Celta Vigo and Villarreal took advantage in recent weeks.
However, the truth is even at his best, Marcelo has never been a great defender. What has made him great is that his attacking output normally outdoes any defensive lapses.
This was much more like the Marcelo of old as he provided both crosses for Madrid’s first two goals and was unlucky not to grab a couple of his own with fierce drives that Ruben turned onto the post and flew just wide respectively.
5. Depor rely on trident
There was a time when this was a regular top-of-the-table clash, but Real’s struggles of late pale into comparison next to Deportivo’s slump since the days of ‘super Depor’ in the early 2000s.
The Galicians haven’t finished above 15th in seven seasons, including two spells in the second division.Once again they are lagging in the relegation zone, but the move for their opener showed why there should still be hope despite a run of one win in 10 games.
In Arsenal loanee Lucas Perez, a La Liga winner with Atletico in Adrian and Florin Andone, a longtime target for a host of Premier League clubs, they have far more firepower than the likes of Levante, Las Palmas and Malaga in the battle for survival.