Madrid: Real Madrid eased to a 3-0 victory at home to Eibar as their makeshift front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Javier Hernandez and Jese all got on the scoresheet.
Ronaldo scored his first free-kick of the season to put Madrid ahead midway through the first half and two minutes later Hernandez nodded in a second goal to net for the first time in just under six months.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (right) takes a shot past Eibar’s Borja Imaz during their Spanish League tie in Madrid on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Then Jese scored a fine individual effort late in the second half to round off a win that takes Madrid on to 73 points and keeps the pressure on league leaders and bitter rivals Barcelona.
Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti made six changes to the team that won 2-0 at Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.
Welsh striker Gareth Bale was injured and James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos suspended, and the Italian also opted to rest Iker Casillas, Dani Carvajal and Karim Benzema, with the first leg of their Champions League quarter final tie with neighbours Atletico Madrid looming next Tuesday.
Hernandez made just his second league start for Madrid and thought he had given the hosts the lead on 20 minutes as he tapped in a loose ball after Isco’s shot had smacked the post, but the Mexican was correctly ruled offside.
Ergio Ramos had hit the crossbar seconds earlier as Madrid came to life after a slow start, and they took the lead two minutes later with Ronaldo’s bouncing free-kick taking Xabi Irureta in the Eibar goal by surprise.