Real Madrid warmed up for their critical Champions League match against Wolfsburg in style with a comprehensive 4-0 home victory over Eibar in La Liga on Saturday.
Only Pepe, Casemiro and Cristiano Ronaldo kept their places in the team as Zinedine Zidane made eight changes in preparation of Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg, where they will try to overturn a two-goal deficit.
Ronaldo impressed, scoring once and setting up two more as Madrid scored all four of their goals in the first half at Santiago Bernabeu to win a sixth consecutive La Liga match.
James Rodriguez’s free-kick gave the hosts an early lead, before Lucas Vazquez and Ronaldo – whose strike saw him become the first player to net 30 La Liga goals in six straight seasons – scored within 108 seconds of each other to kill off the match inside 20 minutes.
Jese Rodriguez made it four prior to the break and that proved to be the final goal as Madrid moved to within four points of leaders Barcelona ahead of their game at Real Sociedad. Eibar have now won only one of their last 12 league outings.
Jese was denied an early penalty when it was ruled he had been brought down just outside the area, but Madrid would not be left dwelling on the decision for long as James swept an impressive strike from the resulting free-kick into the bottom corner on his first league start for five weeks.
It was two for Zidane’s men in the 18th minute when Isco’s throughball was collected by Ronaldo, who brushed aside a weak challenge from Aleksandar Pantic and squared for Vazquez to smash in a left-footed strike.
Madrid then made it three on their next attack, with Jese played in behind and unselfishly finding Ronaldo in oceans of space at the back post. The Portugal forward made no mistake, taking one touch and converting with a powerful finish.
The hosts scored their fourth six minutes before half-time. Ronaldo gained ground down the left and returned the favour for Jese, picking out the 23-year-old to give him the simplest of tasks to slot home his fifth league goal of the campaign from close range.
Kiko Casilla saved a powerful Pantic header in Eibar’s sole chance of note in the opening period.
Sergi Enrich forced Casilla into action early in the second half, while Asier Riesgo saved well at the other end after Ronaldo’s diving header from Vazquez’s chipped pass.
Ronaldo was inches wide with a great late chance as he stretched to try and convert Vazquez’s cross, but it was Eibar who should have netted the game’s fifth goal.
A corner was flicked on by Enrich at the near post, but Borja Baston could only clatter his own header against the crossbar from two yards out as Madrid held on for a clean sheet on a comfortable day at the office.
Key Opta stats:
– Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in his four La Liga games against Eibar (five goals).
– James Rodriguez is the player who has scored the most goals outside the box in La Liga in the last two seasons (10).
– Real Madrid have won all of their four league games against Eibar without conceding.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!