Real Madrid hammer Elche 4-0

Sports Desk, Feb 15 (EFE).- Fresh from winning the Club World Cup in Morocco, Real Madrid romped 4-0 Wednesday over relegation-bound Elche to narrow the gap to LaLiga leaders Barcelona to 8 points.

Elche, with just one win in 20 matches, were the ideal opponents for a Blancos squad with their eyes on four high-stakes clashes in the next two weeks: LaLiga duels with Osasuna and Atletico Madrid, a Champions League tie with Liverpool and a Copa del Rey semifinal against archrivals Barcelona.

The hosts were without Vinicius Jr., a hero of the triumph in Morocco, who was serving a one-game suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards Marco Asensio opened the scoring in the 8th minute and Real Madrid led 3-0 at the break after Karim Benzema converted a pair of penalties.

Luka Modric added a fourth goal in the 80th minute and the score would have been even more lopsided but for some impressive stops by Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia.

The visitors had less than 30 percent possession and failed to put a shot on target, while Badia had to contend with 13.

EFE omb/dr

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