An excellent performance from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid secure their fourth LaLiga win in a row with a 1-3 victory over Eibar at Ipurua on Sunday night.
Los Blancos started strong with goals from Benzema and Luka Modric in the area going, only to see an incredible strike from Kike Garcia bring the Basques back within shouting distance. Real Madrid's defence would hold firm in the second half, albeit with some controversy, and a late Lucas Vazquez goal nailed down the three points.
Zinedine Zidane had Casemiro back in midfield in his starting XI, while Rodrygo Goes came in for Vinicius Junior. Otherwise, there were no surprises from the French boss.
Benzema would benefit immediately from the inclusion of Rodrygo, with the young Brazilian floating in a pass into the French striker, who then beat Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic to hand Los Blancos an early 0-1 lead.
It was champagne football from Real Madrid to start the match and they popped another cork when Benzema played a cut-back pass to Modric at the top of the area, with the Croatia international sending a first-time finish into the back of the net to make it 0-2.
But Eibar showed that they had a pulse and came off a majestic right-footed finish from Kike, who received a ball with his back to goal, took a touch and curled in a shot past Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to cut Los Blancos' advantage to 1-2.
Real Madrid nearly restored their two-goal advantage in the waning moments of the half as it looked like Lucas Vazquez had Dmitrovic beat after the Eibar shot-stopper had come way off his line, but a last-ditch clearance from Pedro Bigas prevented the goal.
Eibar came out strong to start the second half and were keeping Courtois on his toes, but soon enough Real Madrid would assert their control. Rodrygo should have netted the third, yet he was unable to beat Dmitrovic.
Zidane went to his bench for the first time with a little less than 20 minutes to play, as Fede Valverde came on for Modric and Marco Asensio for Rodrygo.
The momentum shifted back to Eibar as the game drew to a close, with the home side on the hunt for an equaliser, and they had a shout for a penalty when a ball inadvertently struck the arm of Sergio Ramos, but VAR ruled otherwise.
The Basque side got one final look in stoppage time when Bigas got loose deep in the Real Madrid half, but Ramos made the victory-saving tackle. Real Madrid then put the three points on ice with a right-footed finish from Lucas in the last 30 seconds to complete the 1-3 scoreline.
1.- Eibar: Dmitrovic; Pozo, Bigas, Arbilla, Kevin; Inui (Pedro Leon, min. 72), Edu Exposito, Diop (Sergio, min. 82), Bryan Gil; Kike (Unai Arieta, min. 83), Muto.
3.- Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Casemiro, Modric (Fede Valverde, min. 72), Kroos; Lucas, Benzema, Rodrygo (Asensio, min. 72).
Goals: 0-1, min. 6: Benzema; 0-2, min. 13: Modric; 1-2, min. 28: Kike; 1-3, Lucas Vazquez.
Referee: Cuadra Fernandez (Balear).
Yellow cards: Arbilla (Min. 43) for Eibar.
Red cards: None.
Source: Marca / Arch Bell