Real Madrid 5-0 Leganes: Hosts close in on Barcelona at La Liga summit

Karim Benzema stars in big win for Zinedine Zidane's side

Karim Benzema was on form as Real Madrid thrashed Leganes
Image: Karim Benzema was on form as Real Madrid thrashed Leganes

Real Madrid moved to within a point of La Liga leaders Barcelona as bottom club Leganes were swept aside 5-0 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Beaten 1-0 at Real Mallorca in their last league outing and still without Gareth Bale, Zinedine Zidane's side took just seven minutes to open the scoring as Rodrygo swept in a Karim Benzema knockdown.

Benzema teed up Toni Kroos to flick home at the near post just a minute later and the Frenchman remained a threat to the Leganes backline, curling one shot across the face of goal, another over the crossbar, and then seeing an acrobatic bicycle kick bounce wide.

Real eventually scored a third from the penalty spot in the 24th minute. Soriano pulled down Eden Hazard, but then saved Sergio Ramos's spot-kick - only to see the penalty get retaken following a VAR review after the Leganes goalkeeper had moved off his line.

This time, the Real captain made no mistake as he slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.

Leganes finally forced Thibaut Courtois into action when the Real goalkeeper tipped away a shot from Kevin Rodrigues but Real were soon back on the front foot.

Rodrygo fired over after more good work from Benzema, who was then denied by a reaction save from Soriano following a neat one-two with Dani Carvajal.

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The second half lacked tempo but Luka Modric made his return when he was brought on just after the hour.

Benzema beat Soriano with a low shot from 20 yards, but the ball bounced back off the foot of the post. The Frenchman, though, did finally get on the scoresheet with 20 minutes left when he slotted in a penalty after Kenneth Omeruo had brought down Modric.

Real had the ball in the net again through a header from substitute Luka Jovic, but the offside flag was up before Soriano stood up to block Marcelo's first-time angled drive.

Serbia forward Jovic, a big-money summer signing from Eintracht Frankfurt, did add a fifth in stoppage time when he headed in a floated ball from Carvajal for his first league goal for the club.

Valencia rally, Athletic Bilbao win

Earlier, Valencia fought back to draw 1-1 against Sevilla at the Mestalla.

Lucas Ocampos had give the visitors the lead in first-half stoppage time. Los Che thought they had equalised on 75 minutes, only for Manu Vallejo to see his effort ruled out by an offside flag.

Fellow substitute Ruben Sobrino, though, made sure of a point with 10 minutes left when he headed home from a free-kick.

Enis Bardhi and Borja Mayoral were on target in the first half as Levante beat Real Sociedad 2-1 at the Reale Arena. Substitute Willian Jose reduced the deficit soon after the restart, but the home side could not conjure an equaliser.

Iker Muniain scored twice early on as Athletic Bilbao beat Espanyol 3-0 at San Mames.

Muniain broke the deadlock after just four minutes and the striker soon doubled the home side's lead when he drilled the ball into the top corner, taking it on his chest as it dropped to him on the edge of the penalty area.

Espanyol's forgettable night was complete with 11 minutes left when defender Victor Gomez turned the ball into his own net.

Nabil Fekir struck a late winner for Real Betis to secure a 2-1 victory over strugglers Celta Vigo. Brazilian defender Emerson had given the hosts an early lead after just eight minutes.

Iago Aspas equalised from the penalty spot, but, with the 90 minutes all but up, midfielder Fekir had the final say when he slammed the ball in after a corner was not cleared.

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