Real Madrid eased to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Eibar on a blustery and rainy Saturday afternoon in the Spanish capital.
Los Blancos forward Karim Benzema had the ball in the net inside five minutes, but his effort was ruled out for offside. Marco Asensio's stunning back-heel strike suffered the same fate on 37 minutes, with VAR pulling the play back due to his poor positioning.
Madrid finally broke the deadlock on 40 minutes, after Asensio latched onto Casemiro's through ball and clipped a composed finish into the back of the net. The hosts avoided a major scare midway through the second half, when Thibaut Courtois allowed a back-pass to roll towards his own goal, but he managed to stick out an outstretched leg to turn the ball away at the last second.
And Zinedine Zidane's men killed the game on 73 minutes, as Vinicius Junior beat his marker to reach the byline, and his cross was clinically headed home by Benzema, leaving the champions only three points off La Liga's summit.
Let's take a look at the player ratings.
REAL MADRID PLAYER RATINGS
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - 7/10 - Largely a spectator in the first half, although had to nervously watch one screamer flash wide from distance. Saved his side at 1-0, having initially allowed a back-pass to roll beyond him, but he produced a superb slide to scoop the ball off the line.
Eder Militao (CB) - 6/10 - Distribution left a lot to be desired throughout the match, often playing his teammates into trouble or not putting enough zip on his passes. Solid defensively.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) - 8/10 - Led the defence well in Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane's absence, as he continues to become an important cog in this Madrid side.
Ferland Mendy (CB) - 8/10 - Got caught in possession a couple of times, but was competent overall and switched between centre-back and left-back with ease throughout the match. A useful utility man.
2. Wing-backs & midfielders
Lucas Vazquez (RWB) - 7/10 - Awarded so much space by the Eibar defence. Bamboozled his marker with his speed and step-overs and picked out his man more often than not. A touch more wasteful in the second half, but solid enough.
Luka Modric (CM) - 6/10 - Played the game nicely and managed to nip out of tight squeezes with a lovely first touch and smart turn on the ball. Subbed on the hour mark as Zidane looked to freshen up the midfield.
Casemiro (CM) - 8/10 - Felt he was fouled in the box early on, and was seemingly pulled down by the defender. Nothing doing for the referee, though. Did brilliantly to intercept a stray ball in the middle of the park and fed Asensio for the first goal of the afternoon.
Isco (AM) - 7/10 - Seemed to be having some fun out there. Would have bagged an assist, were it not for Asensio standing in an offside position. Whacked out a back-heel of his own to baffle the Eibar backline and set up Marcelo, but it came to nothing.
Marcelo (LWB) - 7/10 - Spent the first 20 minutes just whipping dangerous balls into the Eibar box from the left flank. Benzema was having a field day. Had little defending to do.
Marco Asensio (ST) - 8/10 - Rattled the crossbar with an in-swinging free kick on 22 minutes. Caught us all by surprise. Thought he'd broken the deadlock with a lightning reaction back-heel to stun the Eibar keeper. Offside. Finally got his reward on 41 minutes, racing through and slotting home. Back to his best?
Karim Benzema (ST) - 8/10 - Stuck the ball away early on, but mistimed his run by a fraction of a second. Dropped deep to allow strike partner Asensio the space in behind. Selfless as always. Killed the game with a ruthless header. What a surprise.
Rodrygo (RW) - 6/10
Toni Kroos (CM) - 7/10
Sergio Arribas (AM) - 6/10
Vinicius Junior (LW) - 7/10
Mariano Diaz (ST) - 6/10