Sports

Real Madrid crushes Eibar 3-1 in first match in 3 months

Madrid, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- Eden Hazard’s return changed the offensive nature for Real Madrid for the better on Sunday in a home outing against the visiting Eibar, who went down to a 3-1 defeat with barely a peep.

Real Madrid was playing at their training venue, the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, because of renovation work that had been accelerated but not completed during the coronavirus lockdown at Santiago Bernabeu, their home base, and carved out an easy win over Eibar in their first outing in three months, advancing to just two points behind La Liga’s No. 1 squad, Barcelona, who had drubbed Real Mallorca 4-0 on Saturday.

A minute of silence was observed before the match for the tens of thousands of Spanish victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zinedine Zidane’s boys had an easy time of it against Eibar, with Toni Kroos finding the twine first just four minutes into play with a great shot from about 18 meters that got past Marko Dmitrovic and into the top corner of the net after a nice setup by Karim Benzema.

Some 26 minutes later, team captain Sergio Ramos made a quick break toward the Eibar net, sending it to Eden Hazard, who knocked it back to him for the 2-0 score.

In the 37th minute, it was Marcelo who fired a powerful shot from just inside the box just after Dmitrovic saved a shot on goal by Hazard, celebrating the tally by taking a knee, reportedly in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.

After the break, Eibar’s Pedro Bigas got his team on the board, although the squad continues to hover just two points above the relegation threshold.

Gareth Bale was sent in in the second half for Hazard, who had to have an ice pack placed on his ankle, which he had injured in February and which still gives him problems after too much time on his feet.

Ten games remain in the regular La Liga season, but the race for the title looks tight, with neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona looking particularly enervated despite the long lockdown hiatus.

Lineups:

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Mendy, m.46), Varane, Sergio Ramos (Militao, m.61), Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric (Valverde, m.84), Kroos; Rodrygo (Bale, m.61), Hazard (Vinicius, m.61) and Benzema.

Eibar: Dmitrovic; Rober Correa, Oliveira, Arbilla (Burgos, m.84), Rafa Soares (Bigas, m.57); Sergio Alvarez, Edu Exposito, Cristoforo; Orellana (Pedro Leon, m.57), De Blasis (Inui, m.78) and Kike Garcia (Sergi Enrich, m.57).

Goals: 1-0, m.4: Kroos. 2-0, m.30: Ramos. 3-0, m.37: Marcelo. 3-1, m.60: Pedro Bigas.

Referee: Cuadra Fernandez showed Real Madrid’s Casemiro and Eibar’s Cristoforo yellow cards during the match.

EFE

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