Download Video : Real Madrid 3 – 0 Leganes [La Liga] highlights 2016/17
Gareth Bale scored a brace as Real Madrid cemented their position at the top of LaLiga with a 3-0 home victory over Leganes.
The Wales international, who signed a new six-year contract last week, scored twice in the final seven minutes of the first half before missing multiple chances to secure his hat-trick after the break.
Alvaro Morata then sealed the win for Madrid with an impressive finish in the closing stages for his sixth goal in as many appearances across all competitions.
The victory puts Zinedine Zidane’s side – the only team still unbeaten in the top-flight – five points clear of Barcelona, who face an away game against Sevilla later on Sunday as Leganes stay in 17th after a fourth straight defeat.
In another boost for Madrid as they recovered strongly from Wednesday’s Champions League draw against Legia Warsaw, Luka Modric came off the substitutes’ bench to make his first appearance in almost six weeks after a knee injury.
Leganes made a competitive start to the game, with Madrid failing to register an attempt at goal until Morata headed just over from Bale’s cross midway through the first half.
Cristiano Ronaldo was in an offside position when he blazed over the crossbar and the Portugal international then dragged another shot wide.
The Madrid breakthrough did arrive, though, in the 38th minute. Isco – in for the injured Karim Benzema – clipped through a great pass from the left that allowed Bale to race clear, round goalkeeper Jon Serantes at the second attempt and finish from a tight angle.
Alexander Szymanowski’s effort deflected just off-target at the other end, before Zidane’s men struck again in first-half stoppage-time.
Morata and Raphael Varane helped on a free-kick which caused disarray in the Leganes box, allowing Bale to scramble in his second from close range.
Serantes was eager to deny Bale his hat-trick, getting down sharply to deny him as he raced clear early in the second half before sprawling left to keep out the winger’s header from Ronaldo’s delivery.
Bale was persistent and worked Serantes with another header prior to Modric’s return, while Szymanowski forced Keylor Navas to tip his shot over for Leganes after racing on to Omar Ramos’ throughball.
But the match was ended as a contest with 14 minutes remaining, as Morata latched on to Toni Kroos’ pass, forced his way through challenges from two of the visitors’ defenders and placed his finish past Serantes to cap a comfortable outing for the leaders.