Real Madrid eased to a 3-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna in their La Liga curtain-raiser, but it was marred by Sergio Ramos’ late dismissal.
Madrid prevailed thanks to goals from Gareth Bale, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, plus Florin Andone’s missed penalty, but they ended the game with 10 men after Ramos picked up a contentious, second booking at the death.
Madrid were without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and injured Mateo Kovacic, while Raphael Varane was a substitute. Their places were taken by Bale once more, Luka Modric and Nacho Fernandez.
Depor flew out the traps, releasing Burnley target Andone down the left. The striker then outmuscled Dani Carvajal to set up a one-on-one with Keylor Navas, but his curling finish was pushed away by the goalkeeper.
Andone was at it again moments later, leaving Sergio Ramos for dead, but Keylor still wouldn’t be beaten.
The Galicians were made to pay for their profligacy as Ruben Martinez spilled Modric’s tame shot, allowing Bale to mop up from a yard out. That goal also meant Los Blancos had scored for the 69th competitive game in succession.
Madrid doubled their lead seven minutes later through Casemiro, who helped himself to a tap-in from Marcelo’s drilled cross in the six-yard box and a total of 44 consecutive passes – the most in a La Liga game for at least 11 years.
Not long into the restart, Fabian Schar and Ramos respectively exchanged a headbutt and slap but avoided red cards.
The Madrid captain consequently ensured Andone’s header was cleared off the line, before the champions walked in a third goal, Bale teeing up Kroos for a side-footed finish.
Modric almost fired in a third goal for Los Merengues from another layoff by the Welshman, but his shot bounced wide.
Marco Asensio – fresh off his exploits in both Super Cups – stood over a free kick barely a few minutes into his substitute appearance, but Ruben scrambled to his left to punch the winger’s curling effort away.
Zinedine Zidane was then caught kicking a water bottle when Dani Carvajal needlessly clipped Bruno Gama in the box, despite the midfielder having his back to goal.
However, Keylor’s antics to put off Andone worked as the foam of the Costa Rican’s right glove turned the spot-kick around the post.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Ramos’ arm caught Borja Valle at the death for the 18th red card of his career, although it didn’t appear to connect with the substitute’s face.
Deportivo La Coruna 0-3 Real Madrid
Bale 20, Casemiro 27, Kroos 62, Ramos sent off 90
Deportivo La Coruna: Ruben; Juanfran, Sidnei, Schar, Luisinho; Mosquera, Guilherme; Fede (Valle 79), Borges (Adrian 65), Bakkali (Gama 54); Andone
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro (Marcos Llorente 72), Modric; Isco (Asensio 66); Benzema, Bale (Lucas Vazquez 80)
Referee: Gonzalez Gonzalez