Karim Benzema, Isco and Nacho Fernandez all found the net as Real Madrid stretched their lead at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 win over Alaves.
The scoreline didn't convey just how difficult this match was for Zinedine Zidane's side, though, with the league leaders riding their luck at times, particularly in the second half when the visitors created a number of opportunities.
Benzema opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark, but Real Madrid failed to build on that as Alaves made the most of their defensive insecurity, with Deyverson spurning several chances to restore parity.
But the visitors were made to rue their missed opportunities when Isco and Nacho both found the net to give the scoreline an unwarranted gloss. Zidane’s side now hold a five point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga ahead of the Catalans’ game against Granda later this evening.
TALKING POINT - What is the matter with Luka Modric?
Usually the man to take a grip of things in the centre of the pitch for Real Madrid, Luka Modric was in fact the weak link for Zidane’s side today. The Croatian was strangely loose in possession, giving the ball away countless times. It wasn’t a surprise then when Zidane withdrew him in the second half - so was he fully fit? Is there an underlying problem to explain such a bizarrely dismal display from such a normally consistent player?
MAN OF THE MATCH - Karim Benzema
The Frenchman was the best player on the pitch, which made it all the more unusual that Zidane decided to withdraw him midway through the second half. Real Madrid suffered without Benzema leading the line, with the striker opening the scoring for the home side just after the half-hour mark. That goal means Benzema has now scored against every team he has faced in La Liga.
Real Madrid - Casilla 6, Danilo 5, Varane 3, Pepe 6, Nacho 7, Kroos 6, Modric 5, Isco 7, Bale 6, Ronaldo 6, Benzema 7. Subs - Carvajal 6, Vazquez 5, Kovacic 5.
Alaves - Pacheco 6, Ely 6, Laguardia 5, Feddal 6, Theo 6, Camarasa 7, Manu 5, Toquero 6, Edgar 7, Ibai 7, Deyverson 5. Subs - Romero 5, Santos 5, Katai 5.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Benzema, Isco and Nacho see Real Madrid past Alaves