Real Madrid has made a positive return to the LaLiga action as they beat Eibar 3-1 in the Spanish capital on Sunday.
With Barcelona winning 4-0 a day earlier at Real Mallorca the pressure was on Los Blancos to follow suit and close the gap back to two points at the top of the table.
Madrid’s home games take place at Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in Castilla while the Santiago Bernabeu is undergoing renovation work, but the change in venue made little difference as the home side marked Zinedine Zidane’s 200th fashion winning game.
Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo eased Madrid into a comfortable half-time lead.
In the fourth minute, Kroos broke the deadlock with a sublime first-time strike from right inside the box, looping beyond goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
Eibar responded well but after half an hour, they were down 2-0.
The second-half progress of the visitors providing nothing but a consolation from Pedro Bigas, who scored the only goal for their side.
Eden Hazard, who was back in the line-up for the first time since February after recovering from an ankle fracture, impressed as Real Madrid swept aside Eibar in their first match in LaLiga since resuming the season.
Sergio Ramos stepped out to intercept a pass and sparked a swift counter-attacking move that ended with the Madrid captain tapping the impressive Eden Hazard in an unselfish square ball.
After more good interplay between Hazard and Karim Benzema, a crisp strike from Marcelo into the bottom-right corner made Real’s score 3-0 before the break.
The Brazilian left-back took a knee after drilling home his first league goal of the season.
Thibaut Courtois saved the ball superbly from a kick by Edu Exposito and from Sergi Enrich’s header.
However, a shot by Pablo De Blasis deflected Bigas and scored to give Eibar a lifeline beyond Courtois.
It was a second-half largely pedestrian from Madrid, with Hazard and Ramos taking off and Marcelo struggling with a knock, but Eibar still couldn’t make a comeback.
Real Madrid – Eibar (3:1):
Goals: 4′ Kroos, 30′ Ramos, 37′ Marcelo, 60′ Bigas P.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal (Mendy 46′), Varane, Ramos (Militao 61′), Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric (Valverde 84′), Rodrygo (Bale 61′), Hazard (Vinicius 61′), Benzema
Eibar: Dmitrovic; Arbilla (Burgos 84′), Oliveira, Bigas (Rafa 58′), Cote, León, Diop, Cristoforo, Orellana (Pedro P. 57′), Enrich (Kike 59′), Charles
Yellow cards: 47′ Casemiro, 81′ Mendilibar J., 90+3′ Cristoforo S.