Real Madrid beat Las Palmas to remain atop in Spain

Madrid, Nov 1 (IANS) Real Madrid cruised to an easy 3-1 victory at home over struggling Las Palmas to ensure they will remain top of the La Liga at the end of the 10th round of matches.

Although players such as Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos were injured and a muscle strain suffered by Keylor Navas saw Kiko Casilla make his debut in goal, Real Madrid were way too strong for the recently promoted side on Saturday, who had kicked off second from bottom of the table, reports Xinhua.

Isco opened the scoring after just four minutes after being set up by Casimiro in acres of space in the right hand channel and 10 minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead after more sloppy defending allowed him a free header eight yards out.

Had it not been for Las Palmas keeper Javi Varas who produced fine saves to deny Luka Modric and Isco, Real Madrid would increased the margin. Hernan scored a surprise header from a corner to get Las Palmas into the match seven minutes from half time.

That only served to wake Madrid from their slumber and Jese Rodriguez re-established their two-goal advantage when he cut inside and beat Varas with a curling shot into the far corner of the net.

Rafael Benitez made a change at half time replacing Luka Modric with Lucas Vazquez, possibly with an eye on Tuesday’s Champions League game against Paris Saint Germain.

Indeed Real Madrid’s second half display showed they clearly had an eye on that key game as they sat further back with defenders Marcelo and Danilo sitting much deeper than in the first period.

Ronaldo pulled a shot wide, while Casilla saved a Jose William free kick for Las Palmas, but on the whole it was a wholly forgettable second half where the standout moment was the league debut of 18-year-old Borja Majoral for Real Madrid with three minutes remaining.

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