?Real Madrid closed the gap on leaders Barcelona to five points by easing to victory over La Liga strugglers Eibar.
After enduring a frustrating evening in Tuesday’s Champions League draw with Tottenham, Real had a far more comfortable night this time around. The game started slow, with Eibar’s Joan Jordan testing Real’s stand-in keeper Kiko Castilla and Cristiano Ronaldo having a hopeful shot blocked.
The reigning La Liga champions did find the breakthrough after 17 minutes when Marco Asensio’s superb cross was headed into his own net by Paulo Oliviera. Eibar then wasted a golden chance to level minutes later, where a counter attack led to a 2 v 1 in their favour, though Charles bizarrely sent the ball out for a goal kick from 40 yards out in what appeared to be a mix of confusion between shooting and passing.
That was the closest Eibar would come to claiming anything, as Real doubled their lead soon after when Marco Asensio latched onto Isco’s cross and superbly drilled home the second. The tempo of game slowed down as the hosts easily controlled the affair into the second half, with Cristiano Ronaldo wasting several good chances to add his name to the score sheet and Isco also having a one on one saved by Marko Dmitrovic.
Real did eventually find the third goal to ensure victory, with substitute Marcelo finishing off a brilliant team move to turn and finish inside the box and give the reigning Spanish champions a very easy win.
Eibar had a half chance at the end with a long range effort which was well saved by Castilla, but on a whole it was a routine win for Zinedine Zidane’s side as they moved to within five points of leaders Barcelona and above city rivals Atletico into third.
Los Blancos would have been pleased with the professionalism of the victory, especially with the likes of Keylor Navas, Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal all out injured. The defeat leaves Eibar in 16th, just a single point above the drop zone and their season gets no easier when they face in form Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey in the week, whilst Real travel to third division side Fuenlabrada in the same competition. ?