Real Madrid return to form with comfortable victory over struggling Leganes
Real Madrid closed the gap to within a point of LaLiga leaders Barcelona as bottom club Leganes were swept aside at the Bernabeu.
Head coach Zinedine Zidane named the same team which beat Galatasaray in the Champions League as they cruised to a 5-0 home win.
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric was back on the bench after his injury lay-off but Wales forward Gareth Bale, who had travelled to London earlier in the week, was still not yet match fit.
Los Blancos beaten 1-0 at Real Mallorca in their last LaLiga outing – took just seven minutes to open the scoring.
Karim Benzema knocked down a deep cross from Marcelo, which Brazilian forward Rodrygo swept in from close range.
Before the LaLiga strugglers could regroup, it was 2-0.
Benzema got away down the left and chipped the ball across for Toni Kroos to flick home at the near post.
The Frenchman remained a threat to the Leganes backline, curling a shot across the face of goal and another effort over the crossbar.
Benzema then forced visting goalkeeper Juan Soriano into a smart save before seeing an acrobatic bicycle kick bounce wide.
Real eventually scored a third from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.
Soriano pulled down Eden Hazard, but then saved Sergio Ramos’s spot-kick – only to see the penalty get retaken following a VAR review after the Leganes goalkeeper had moved off his line.
This time, the Real captain made no mistake as he slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
Leganes finally forced Thibaut Courtois into action when the Real goalkeeper tipped away a shot from Kevin Rodrigues.
Real, though, were soon back on the front foot.
Rodrygo fired over after more good work from Benzema, who was then denied by a reaction save from Soriano following a neat one-two with Dani Carvajal.
The second half lacked tempo and Modric eventually made his return when he was brought on just after the hour.
Benzema beat Soriano with a low shot from 20 yards, but the ball bounced back off the foot of the post.
The Frenchman, though, did finally get on the scoresheet with 20 minutes left when he slotted in a penalty after Kenneth Omeruo had brought down Modric.
Real had the ball in the net again through a header from substitute Luka Jovic, but the offside flag was up before Soriano stood up to block Marcelo’s first-time angled drive.
Serbia forward Jovic, a big-money summer signing from Eintracht Frankfurt, did add a fifth in stoppage time when he headed in floated ball from Carvajal for a first league goal for the club.