Real Madrid trounce Las Palmas to move into third
La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu - Real Madrid 3 (Casemiro 41', Asensio 56', Isco 74') Las Palmas 0
Marco Asensio’s stunning strike from 30 yards was the highlight as Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Las Palmas.
Zinedine Zidane’s side came into the home fixture under pressure following successive defeats to Girona and Spurs, but this was a display to remind all that the title race in Spain might not be over, with the result closing the gap on Barcelona at the top of La Liga to eight points.
It took Real Madrid a while to find their groove as Las Palmas held their own for much of the first half. But Casemiro gave the hosts the lead just before the half time interval, heading home from a corner kick.
From there, Zidane’s side exerted their superiority, scoring a second and a third through Asensio and Isco respectively. Now, Real Madrid will take a break for International week before they face Atletico Madrid in a fortnight’s time.
Asensio MarceloGetty Images
TALKING POINT - How do you solve a problem like Karim Benzema?
There was a mixed reaction among the home fans at the Santiago Bernabeu when Karim Benzema was withdrawn midway through the second half. The Frenchman had turned in another below par performance as his slump at the start of the season continues. So what does Zidane do about his faltering centre forward? This is where Real Madrid could have used Alvaro Morata.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
By stoppage time at the end of the match, Ronaldo cut a rather frustrated figure. Having failed to find the net himself, he looked fed up. Indeed, it is something of a quirk that the Portuguese has scored just once in La Liga so far this season, but his overall performance was impressive, driving his team to a comfortable win. Ronaldo might not have scored, but he was the best player on the pitch.
5’ BENZEMA WAS CLEAN THROUGH! Real Madrid should be ahead. Benzema was played clean through on goal, but his touch let him down and his shot was ultimately smothered.
27’ OFF THE POST! That's the closest we have come to an opener in these first 30 minutes. Ronaldo cuts inside and curls a left footed shot towards goal, but it clips the outside of the post.
40’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Las Palmas: There's the breakthrough for Real Madrid! A corner kick delivery picks up a flick at the near post and Casemiro is on hand at the back post to plant a header back across goal and into the corner of the net.
53’ ANOTHER PENALTY SHOUT! Las Palmas are up in arms again. Vitolo was brought down inside the box by Casemiro. The Brazilian did have the shirt of the Las Palmas in his hand.
56’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Las Palmas: WOW! That's an absolute rocket by Asensio! The cross fell to the attacker about 25 yards out and he smashed it high into the roof of the Las Palmas net! What an incredible goal.
61’ VERY NEARLY A THIRD! Kroos takes aim from the edge of the box, with the German's strike moving all over the place in the air. Lizoain did just enough to keep the ball out of the net.
74’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Las Palmas: And there's the third just to make sure of things! The ball from Ronaldo out on the right wing was exceptional and Isco was on hand to finish at the back post. Good play from the champions.
77’ THAT WAS RONALDO'S CHANCE! Llorente plays the ball into the Real Madrid number seven, getting it quickly out of his feet, but Ronaldo was leaning back and sends his effort over.
82’ WHAT A SAVE! That looked for all the world to be Real Madrid's fourth of the night. Ramos' finish picked up a deflection and looked to be looping up and over the keeper, but he clawed it out.
Casemiro became the first Real Madrid player to score a headed goal this season.
Marco Asensio has scored more goals from outside the box than any other La Liga player this season.