Madrid, Oct 31 (IANS) Real Madrid cruised to a 5-0 victory over last-place Leganes and moved up to second in La Liga with 21 points, one less than leaders Barcelona, and one more than Granada, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
More importantly, Real Madrid can take satisfaction from having delivered their first complete, drama-free performance of the 2019-2020 campaign, reports Efe news.
On Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane opted to start 18-year-old newcomer Rodrygo up front alongside established stars Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema and the Brazilian international wasted no time in repaying the coach’s faith in him, scoring in the 7th minute on his first touch in a Real Madrid shirt.
After assisting on Rodrygo’s goal, Benzema set up Toni Kroos to make it 2-0 just a minute later.
Hazard ran rings around the hapless Leganes defenders and Benzema came close before Sergio Ramos converted from the spot in the 24th minute to boost the lead to 3-0.
The visitors’ only chance of the first half came on a shot by Oscar that forced a leaping stop from Thibaut Courtois, providing an occasion for the Blancos faithful at the Santiago Bernabeu to show that were over their earlier irritation with the Belgian goalkeeper.
Leganes tried to go forward after the re-start, but managed only one shot.
Benzema hit the post in the 67th minute, but got his goal just two minutes later after Omeruo brought down Luka Modric in the area.
The referee pointed to the spot and Ramos made way for Benzema to take the kick for the 4-0.
Zidane pulled Benzema seconds later to give playing time to Luka Jovic, still in pursuit of his first goal for the Blancos.
Jovic nearly scored on his first touch and then saw a goal disallowed in the 73rd minute for a clear offside.
Leganes keeper Soriano denied Marcelo in the 82nd minute and turned aside a strike by Isco five minutes later, but could do nothing to stop Jovic’s stoppage-time header.
The match was preceded by a moment of silence for the recent death of former Real Madrid player Perez Garcia and the evening also included a tribute to Ramos for becoming the most-capped Spanish international.