Elche vs Real Madrid. Spanish La Liga.
Sunday 22 February 2015 22:54, UK
Second-half goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo earned Real Madrid a 2-0 win at struggling Elche that moved them four points clear at the top of the Primera Division.
The visitors took full advantage of Barcelona's home defeat to Malaga on Saturday as a routine victory further strengthened their hold on top spot.
Madrid made a bright start, with Ronaldo curling a shot against a post and then seeing a fierce effort from long range tipped round a post by a Przemyslaw Tyton.
The Portugal forward had only himself to blame for not scoring in the 21st minute, though, as Gareth Bale's excellent low cross from the right reached him at the back post, but instead of opting for what looked a simple tap-in he knocked the ball back inside and the chance went begging.
Benzema had the ball in the net in the 39th minute, converting a cross from Bale - lucky not to be more seriously hurt under a tackle from Aaron - from the right, with an acrobatic overhead kick, but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside.
Elche threatened at the start of the second half as Aaron Niguez's shot was parried by Iker Casillas.
But the visitors went in front in the 56th minute and this time Benzema's luck was in.
Ronaldo burst down the left and into the area before laying the ball across goal towards Benzema. David Lomban slid in in an effort to clear the ball, but could only knock it against his own goalkeeper and the rebound left Benzema with an easy finish.
There was nothing fortunate about Madrid's second in the 69th minute, though, Ronaldo rising to power a fine header into the roof of the net from Isco's left-wing cross.
At two behind there was no way back for the hosts and the league leaders closed out the game in comfort.