Real Madrid sweep aside Eibar in just half an hour
It was plain sailing for Real Madrid in the Basque Country as their game with Eibar was no contest. The team from the capital were far too good for their opponents and they killed off their opponents in the first half. In fact, it was one of 'Los Blancos' best performances of the season, at least on the road.
Real Madrid dominated the whole contest and Karim Benzema struck a post in the third minute, but he was offside. Mendy and Escalante were then involved in a nasty face to face clash shortly afterwards before Dmitrovic, the Eibar keeper, was called into action after 10 minutes. Hazard played a lovely scoop pass for Benzema in the six yard box and the GK had to make a great stop from close range. Zidane's men did not have to wait long to break the deadlock though.
In the 17th minute, Modric saw his shot saved after picking up a loose ball in the box and after pinball in the area, Benzema hit a left footed strike into the far corner to make it 0-1. Seconds later, they doubled the lead after Pablo De Blasis brought down Eden Hazard in the box. Sergio Ramos sent the goalie the wrong way from the spot and just like that, Eibar had a mountain to climb.
Even though Eibar started attacking out of necessity and Escalante failed to hit the target with an ambitious 35 yard effort, Real Madrid were in complete control. The visitors were passing the ball around for fun and Hazard even pulled off a rabona after just 25 minutes. It got worse for Eibar before the 30 minute mark when Lucas Vazquez was brought down by Cote in the box. The referee did not hesitate in pointing to the spot and Benzema tucked away the penalty. Both the penalty and the goalkeeper went in the same direction as Ramos' spot kick.
Benzema nearly made it four after Cote lost the ball on the near touchline and Vazquez fed the Frenchman, but his shot went across the face of goal. Mendilibar's men struggled to do anything apart from a couple of opportunities in injury time. Escalante hit over Orellana's free-kick from a tight angle and then Sergi Enrich headed wide Cote's lovely cross right on half-time.
After the interval, Hazard hit wide seconds after the restart before Eibar had a go at the other end when De Blasis went past Mendy, but his curling shot went wide. However, apart from that, the second half ended up being very, very quiet as Eibar were unable to break down Real Madrid and the away team took things easy.
There was time to score one more time though and that came in the 61st minute. Ferland Mendy sent in a cross to the far side, Modric received and took his time before spotting Fede Valverde on the edge of the area. The Uruguayan smacked it into the corner to make it 0-4 and to get his first ever La Liga goal.
The game was a non-event after that. Benzema hit one shot over, Vinicius beautifully nutmegged De Blassis and both sides rung the changes with the result already decided. Thibaut Courtois had almost nothing to do all game, but he did have to make a tremendous save down to his right to deny Edu Exposito four minutes from time and to maintain Real's clean sheet. That was the only real chance in the last 25 minutes and Real Madrid fully deserved their win.
Real Madrid go top of La Liga, but they will be knocked off top if Barcelona beat Celta later this evening. Eibar stay in 14th and will be disappointed not to have been able to compete, but their season will be determined by other much more winnable matches.