Real Madrid thrash Eibar without Bale and Ronaldo

By Richard Martin
Football Soccer -Eibar v Real Madrid - Spanish Liga Santander - Ipurua, Eibar, Spain - 4/03/17 Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scores his second goal. REUTERS/Vincent West

By Richard Martin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Real Madrid romped to a 4-1 win at tiny Eibar on Saturday, provisionally returning to the top of La Liga, despite the absence of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo for Zinedine Zidane's side.

Karim Benzema was the focal point in Real's attack without the suspended Bale and injured Ronaldo and fired the visiting side ahead in the 14th minute, following up his own shot on the rebound, before stretching their advantage in the 25th.

James Rodriguez had provided the cross for Benzema's second goal and the Frenchman returned the favour for his Colombian team mate to net his first league goal since September in the 29th minute.

Marco Asensio hit the fourth on the hour mark with a rebound after James had struck the post.

Ruben Pena bundled in a consolation goal for Eibar in the 72nd minute but Real still recorded their biggest win since beating Real Sociedad 3-0 in January.

The win will lift Real's confidence having dropped five points in their previous three games. Victory sends them top of the standings on 59 points although Barcelona, on 57, can return to the summit when they host Celta Vigo later on Saturday.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Tom Hayward)