Hazard shines for Real Madrid in convincing win over Eibar
La Liga, Iperua - Eibar 0 Real Madrid 4 (Benzema 17', 29' (p), Ramos 20' (p), Valverde 62')
Rodrygo was dropped to the bench after his hat-trickm heroics in the Champions League during the week, but the Brazilian teenager wasn’t missed as Zinedine Zidane’s side claimed an impressive victory.
It took the away side just 17 minutes to make the breakthrough at Iperua, with Karim Benzema finding the back of the net from a tight angle after Luka Modric and Fede Valverde had forced an initial save from Mark Dmitrovic.
The Eibar goalkeeper was picking the ball out of his net again just two minutes later, with Sergio Ramos scoring from the spot after Hazard was felled inside the box, and when Real Madrid were awarded a second penalty kick with Lucas Vazquez was fouled, it was Benzema who converted from 12 yards out, sending Dmitrovic the wrong way.
Valverde added his name to the score sheet with a guided finish from 18 yards out after being set up nicely by Modric, capping the scoreline at 4-0 with Real Madrid turning in one of their best displays of the season so far.
This result lifts Real Madrid to top spot in the La Liga table on 25 points after Real Sociedad’s draw at home to Leganes on Friday night and with Barcelona still to play Celta Vigo at Balaidos later on Saturday evening.
TALKING POINT - After a sticky start, Real Madrid are finally building some momentum
The 1-0 defeat to Real Mallorca before the last international break left Real Madrid in a bad way. It was speculated that, at that point, one more adverse result would have been enough for Zidane to be sacked. Since then, though, Real Madrid have built some momentum. They are playing well and this was another illustration of how they are starting to click under Zidane. This might be the start of something.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
The Belgian has been placed under intense scrutiny since making the £100 million move from Chelsea in the summer. Indeed, Hazard has been questioned at every turn, but this was his best performance to date in a Real Madrid shirt. This was more like the player who ripped the Premier League to shreds for a number of years. Eibar couldn’t cope with Hazard. He must aim to replicate this display on a more consistent basis.
4’ Off the woodwork! Just inches away from being an early opener for Real Madrid! Modric played a clipped pass over the top for Benzema who strikes the outside of the far post with his shot. The flag was up, though.
17’ GOAL! Eibar 0-1 Real Madrid: Real Madrid have broken the deadlock! That had been coming! In the end, it was a bit of a scrappy goal, with Modric and Valverde forcing the save from Dmitrovic, but Benzema was on hand to clean up and find the back of the net from a tight angle.
19’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! Hazard is tripped inside the box by De Blasis and the away side will have the chance to score from the spot!
20’ GOAL! Eibar 0-2 Real Madrid: Ramos steps up to the 12-yard mark and sends Dmitrovic the wrong way, rolling his effort into the left-hand corner of the Eibar net. The past few minutes have seen Real Madrid took a commanding grip of this match as a contest.
28’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! Vazquez is brought down clumsily by Cote and it's another spot kick to the away side!
29’ GOAL! Eibar 0-3 Real Madrid: Not even 30 minutes has been played at Iperua and Real Madrid have a commanding 3-0 lead. This time it's Benzema who takes the penalty, but the result is the same with the French striker sending Dmitrovic the wrong way from 10 yards out.
63’ GOAL! Eibar 0-4 Real Madrid: There's the fourth goal from Real Madrid and that will be enough to kill off Eibar for good! Modric retrieved a deep cross, he then turned back and then picked out Valverde just inside the box. The young midfielder then stroked a finish into the back of the net!
Karim Benzema has now passed Ferenc Puskas as Real Madrid’s sixth all-time top goalscorer (157 goals).
Since losing 1-0 to Real Mallorca on October 19 Real Madrid have scored 16 goals in five games without reply.