European champions Real Madrid began their bid to take the Spanish title from neighbours Atletico Madrid with a nervy opening La Liga win over Cordoba.

New signings James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos were named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a star-studded starting XI for Madrid.

The hosts outplayed the newly promoted side before half-time and led through Karim Benzema's thumping header.

Cordoba improved but Ronaldo's late strike from distance eased the tension.

Real Madrid - BBC Global's European team guides

A few whistles could be heard from the Bernabeu stands before the world player of the year drilled into the bottom corner in the final minute.

Madridistas have seen their team win La Liga just once in the last six seasons after finishing third behind Atletico and arch-rivals Barcelona in a thrilling title race last season.

Carlo Ancelotti's men made amends by beating Atletico in the Champions League final as they were crowned European champions for a record 10th time, and responded to their league failure by spending over £100m on new players this summer.

The bulk of that lavish outlay was spent on World Cup winner Kroos and tournament top scorer Rodriguez, from Bayern Munich and Monaco respectively. However they lost to Atletico in the Spanish Super Cup last week.

Stat attack

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 30 goals from outside the area in La Liga since the 2009-10 season - more than any other player.

Karim Benzema scored his first headed goal in a La Liga game since March's match against Barcelona.

Cordoba have lost all nine away league games against Real Madrid, conceding at least twice in eight of these defeats.

In contrast, Cordoba's low-budget side - managed by ex-Barcelona and Chelsea defender Albert Ferrer - consisted largely of free transfers and loan signings. But the huge financial gulf between the two clubs was not always evident, particularly in the early part of the second half when Cordoba threatened to equalise.

Substitute Xisco, remembered by English fans for an unsuccessful spell at Newcastle, stuck the ball in the Madrid net from a rebound but turned to see his effort ruled out for offside.

Real Madrid goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo's late goal means he has scored against every team he has faced in La Liga

And, despite a plucky effort by the visitors, it was ultimately Madrid's extra attacking quality which proved the difference.

While Rodriguez, who joined for a fee rising to £71m, barely threatened before being substituted in the second half, Germany midfielder Kroos, a reported £24m signing, made a greater impact on his league debut.

He clipped in the corner which allowed France striker Benzema to climb highest inside a packed Cordoba penalty area and powerfully nod in from eight yards.

That looked set to be the only goal until Ronaldo's speculative effort ended Cordoba's hopes in their first Spanish top-flight game since 1972.

Real Madrid's possible £400m team

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Real Madrid

  • 01 Casillas
  • 17 Arbeloa (Carvajal - 73' )
  • 03 Pepe
  • 04 Ramos
  • 12 Marcelo
  • 19 Modric
  • 08 Kroos
  • 10 Rodríguez (Isco - 72' )
  • 11 Bale
  • 09 Benzema Booked (Khedira - 76' )
  • 07 Ronaldo

Substitutes

  • 02 Varane
  • 06 Khedira
  • 13 Navas
  • 14 Alonso
  • 15 Carvajal
  • 23 Isco
  • 24 Illarramendi

Córdoba

  • 01 Martín Corral
  • 17 Gunino
  • 12 López
  • 02 Pantic
  • 03 Crespo
  • 22 López Garai Booked
  • 07 Rossi
  • 20 Matos Santos (Chaves de la Torre - 62' )
  • 19 López de Silva Sánchez
  • 29 Pinillos Booked (Nicolás Cartabia - 45' )
  • 24 Havenaar (Jiménez Tejada - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Bouzón Amoedo
  • 05 Ekeng Ekeng
  • 09 Jiménez Tejada
  • 10 Nicolás Cartabia
  • 13 Saizar
  • 16 Chaves de la Torre
  • 23 Gómez Moreno
Ref: Jesús Gil Manzano
Att: 70,356

Match Stats

Shots

14 8

On target

8 2

Corners

8 5

Fouls

9 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Real Madrid 2, Córdoba 0.

90:00 +3:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Real Madrid 2, Córdoba 0.

90:00 +1:34

Attempt missed. Fidel (Córdoba) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

89:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Madrid 2, Córdoba 0. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Isco.

86:49

Offside, Real Madrid. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

85:20

Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

81:55

Pepe (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:55

Foul by López Garai (Córdoba).

81:35

Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

81:02

Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo with a cross.

77:53

Marcelo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

77:53

Foul by Fede (Córdoba).

75:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Sami Khedira replaces Karim Benzema.

74:54

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.

72:31

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

72:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Daniel Carvajal replaces Álvaro Arbeloa.

71:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Isco replaces James Rodríguez.

71:50

Delay in match Fausto Rossi (Córdoba) because of an injury.

71:34 Booking

Booking Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

69:52

Offside, Córdoba. Fidel tries a through ball, but Xisco is caught offside.

69:51

Attempt saved. Fidel (Córdoba) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Fausto Rossi.

69:09

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Pantic (Córdoba) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Xisco with a headed pass following a corner.

68:40

Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Toni Kroos.

68:01

Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).

68:01

Fede (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:11

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:11

Foul by Fidel (Córdoba).

66:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Córdoba. Xisco replaces Mike Havenaar.

63:38

Offside, Real Madrid. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

62:11

Pepe (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:11

Foul by Mike Havenaar (Córdoba).

61:39

Offside, Real Madrid. Sergio Ramos tries a through ball, but Gareth Bale is caught offside.

61:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Córdoba. Fidel replaces Ryder Matos.

59:15

Attempt saved. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

58:44 Booking

Booking López Garai (Córdoba) is shown the yellow card.

58:33

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.

56:03

Foul by Gareth Bale (Real Madrid).

56:03

Ryder Matos (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:52

Attempt missed. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

51:57

James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:57

Foul by Fausto Rossi (Córdoba).

50:30

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

50:30

López Silva (Córdoba) wins a free kick on the right wing.

48:11

Attempt saved. Ryder Matos (Córdoba) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

47:49

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Pantic (Córdoba) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Fausto Rossi with a cross following a corner.

47:19

Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.

46:53

Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).

46:53

Fede (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:05

James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:05

Foul by Fede (Córdoba).

45:45

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:45

Foul by Mike Havenaar (Córdoba).

45:20

Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Marcelo.

45:00

Second Half begins Real Madrid 1, Córdoba 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Córdoba. Fede replaces Daniel Pinillos.

45:00 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Real Madrid 1, Córdoba 0.

43:58

Offside, Real Madrid. James Rodríguez tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

43:48

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:48

Foul by José Ángel Crespo (Córdoba).

43:18

Attempt missed. Mike Havenaar (Córdoba) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Fausto Rossi with a cross following a corner.

42:39

Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.

38:07

Attempt blocked. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

37:11

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.

35:57

Offside, Córdoba. López Silva tries a through ball, but Ryder Matos is caught offside.

35:04

James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

35:04

Foul by López Silva (Córdoba).

34:00

Offside, Real Madrid. James Rodríguez tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

33:37

Attempt missed. López Silva (Córdoba) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mike Havenaar with a headed pass.

31:47

Attempt saved. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

30:39

Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).

30:39

Aleksandar Pantic (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Madrid 1, Córdoba 0. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Toni Kroos with a cross following a corner.

29:16

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.

28:10

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:10

Foul by López Garai (Córdoba).

26:09

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Aleksandar Pantic.

25:28

Attempt saved. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

24:49

Attempt saved. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Rodríguez with a through ball.

24:42

Attempt blocked. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

24:14

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.

23:00

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.

20:52

Foul by James Rodríguez (Real Madrid).

20:52

Ryder Matos (Córdoba) wins a free kick on the right wing.

19:47

Foul by Luka Modric (Real Madrid).

19:47

López Silva (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:48

Offside, Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo tries a through ball, but Sergio Ramos is caught offside.

18:47

Attempt saved. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luka Modric.

17:53 Booking

Booking Daniel Pinillos (Córdoba) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

17:45

Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

17:45

Foul by Daniel Pinillos (Córdoba).

13:28

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

13:28

Mike Havenaar (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:44

Hand ball by Mike Havenaar (Córdoba).

10:43

Offside, Real Madrid. Iker Casillas tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

10:03

Offside, Córdoba. Daniel Pinillos tries a through ball, but Mike Havenaar is caught offside.

9:16

Attempt missed. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Ramos with a headed pass following a corner.

8:47

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Adrián Gunino.

6:40

Attempt missed. Mike Havenaar (Córdoba) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

2:55

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

2:07

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:07

Foul by López Garai (Córdoba).

1:02

Foul by Luka Modric (Real Madrid).

1:02

Fausto Rossi (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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