Gareth Bale scored two golazos in possibly his Santiago Bernabeu swansong as Real Madrid thrashed Celta Vigo 6-0 on Saturday.
Bale inspired Madrid to an attacking masterclass as Achraf Hakimi and Toni Kroos also got on the scoresheet, while Sergi Gomez slid into his own net in a desperate show of defending from Celta.
The Welshman started for Los Blancos in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was still recovering from an ankle injury, while the Galicians named top goalscorer Iago Aspas as a substitute after his early return from a hamstring problem.
Madrid had not lost at home to Celta in La Liga since November 2006, although O Celestes did beat them 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Copa del Rey last season.
Madrid had to win in order to secure at least third place, and they made the perfect start when Bale drove clear from Luka Modric’s through ball and slotted a finish past Sergio Alvarez.
Bale’s rocket of a free kick almost wrongfooted Sergio, but the goalkeeper could only watch the No 10 curl a sublime finish past him after he tore inside from Modric’s ball over the top.
With a third of the first half still to play, Los Merengues went 3-0 up through Isco, who replicated Bale’s wonder strike from the opposing left flank.
That wasn’t to say Celta didn’t have their chances, and they were unluckily denied a penalty when Caemiro appeared to trip Brais Mendez in the box, before Jozabed’s goal was disallowed, his strike having deflected in via an offside Daniel Wass.
From there, it was damage limitation for Juan Carlos Unzue’s side as Achraf went on to show Ronaldo-esque composure to keep his cool and fire a shot past Sergio early in the second half.
Isco was wrongly adjudged to be off twice in quick succession, the first flag coming as he was about to bend the ball past Sergio and the second when he knocked in Karim Benzema’s rebound.
Bale saw a header for his hat-trick pushed away by Sergio, but Sergi Gomez nonetheless gifted Madrid their fifth goal, sliding in a cross.
Toni Kroos then rounded off the rout by hitting a daisy-cutter past the goalkeeper, substitute Borja Mayoral having unselfishly teed up the German.
Real Madrid 6-0 Celta Vigo
Bale 13, 30, Isco 32, Achraf 52, Sergi Gomez og 74, Kroos 81
Real Madrid: Keylor; Achraf, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco (Asensio 64); Benzema (Mayoral 64), Bale (Vazquez 72)
Celta Vigo: Sergio; Mallo, Roncaglia, Sergi Gomez, Jonny; Wass, Lobotka, Jozabed (Radoja 71); Brais (Aspas 81), Maxi, Boye (Pablo Hernandez 46)
Referee: Gonzalez Fuertes