Madrid strikes early again on way to 4-0 rout of Eibar
EIBAR, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid got the job done early again, scoring three goals in the first 30 minutes as it crushed Eibar 4-0 in the Spanish league on Saturday. The victory came three days after Madrid took a three-goal lead by the 14th minute of a 6-0 rout of Galatasaray in the group stage of the Champions League.
Madrid is joint top with Barcelona, which defeated Celta Vigo 4-1 at Camp Nou Stadium. Both teams have 25 points, two more than Real Sociedad, which was held by last-place Leganés to a 1-1 draw on Friday.
It was one of the best games of the season for Madrid, which was up 2-0 after goals by Karim Benzema in the 17th and Sergio Ramos in the 20th. Benzema added another in the 29th and Federico Valverde also netted in the 61st.
Benzema's second goal and the strike by Ramos came from penalties after fouls on Eden Hazard and Lucas Vázquez, who was a surprise starter after teenage forward Rodrygo scored a hat trick in the win against Galatasaray.
"We will keep making changes so everyone can stay motivated," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. Benzema, who also scored twice against Galatasaray, is the league's leading marksman with nine goals. He is now sixth on the list of Madrid scorers in the league with 157 goals, one more than Ferenc Puskas.
The team has kept a clean sheet in five straight matches in all competitions, since a 1-0 loss at Mallorca in the Spanish league. "We knew we had to work harder after that game against Mallorca," Zidane said.
It was only the third away win by Madrid in 11 league matches since Zidane returned to the club late last season. Madrid right back Dani Carvajal made his 250th appearance for the club. Eibar, which was coming off two straight wins, dropped to 15th place, staying six points clear of the relegation zone.
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