Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday led Real Madrid to prevail over Eibar 2-1 in the 28th round of La Liga, avoiding losing more ground to the first two teams in the Spanish top-divison football table.
Eibar stormed into the game, pushing Real Madrid onto the other half of the field, with the visitors unable to find the spaces they needed despite their best efforts, reports Efe.
The home side even had a chance to break the scoreless deadlock in the 18th minute, but Real’s goalkeeper Keylor Navas managed to block Kike’s powerful shot.
After nearly half an hour, Real’s coach Zinedine Zidane was forced to make the first change, bringing in Nacho for Raphael Varane, who left the field after a skull-to-skull collision with Kike Garcia.
Gareth Bale and Ronaldo later squandered a rare double chance for Real off a long pass from Marcelo.
Eibar’s goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic first prevented Bale from getting Real on the scoreboard, while defender Ander Capa anticipated Ronaldo’s move to eliminate the danger.
However, Ronaldo seized on a mistake from Eibar’s defender Anaitz Arbilla and used a brilliant pass from Luka Modric to find the back of the net in the 33rd minute.
The visitors unsuccessfully sought the equalizer before the break, but all they got were several corners.
At the other end of the field, Cristiano had a chance to double the score, but Dmitrovic’s good save prevented things from worsening for Eibar before the half time whistle.
After the intermission, and with a goal in their pocket, Real Madrid tried to slow the game’s pace, but Eibar did not allow them to.
Five minutes into the second half, Ivan Ramis drew level for Eibar with a great header off a corner by Pedro Leon.
With the game back to square one, Real Madrid again turned up the heat, while Eibar looked for more.
Kike had a chance to give his side the lead with 10 minutes to go before stoppage time, but lost control of the ball.
Ronaldo finally doubled Real’s tally in the 84th minute on a header to give his team its second league victory in a row.
After the win, Real sits in the third spot with 57 points, four points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who are scheduled to take on Celta Vigo on Sunday.