Throughout their careers Barcelona's Messi has been compared to Real Madrid's Ronaldo.
But Ronaldo rounded off an impressive display from Real at the Bernabeu today that eased pressure on manager Zinedine Zidane.
That left them a mammoth 19 points behind eternal rivals Barcelona. That game is also remembered for Bale limping off in the 39th minute and, despite clearly being unfit to play, was handed a start by Zidane, who was keen to field Los Blancos' front three. Club captain Sergio Ramos, however, missed out once again. Unai Emery's side are now nine points clear of Marseille at the Ligue 1 summit, with Lyon two points further back in third.
Mohamed Salah's agent has been reportedly spotted in Madrid amid speculation he could be set for a transfer move to Real Madrid.
Real had lost two of their last three league games and got off on the wrong foot against relegation-threatened Deportivo when former Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez put the visiting side ahead against the run of play in the 23rd minute.
But Bale inspired the turnaround, with Nacho and Cristiano Ronaldo also hitting braces, and he received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Lucas Vazquez. It only lasted 15 minutes or so, with Bale subbed off after Benzema had been brought on, but the spark was there for those 15 minutes.
The Red Devils allegedly came to the conclusion the whole thing would cost them around €400m, with €200m going straight to Real Madrid, but that the marketing and media impact would actually give them "many benefits".
Andone had two brilliant chances to hit back in the period that followed, but the striker turned his first effort over the crossbar from close range, before seeing his second cleared off the line by Nacho.
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