Benzema helps Madrid beat Alaves 3-0, increases league lead

Karim Benzema, Isco and Nacho Fernandez all found the net as Real Madrid stretched their lead at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 win over Alaves. Real Madrid suffered without Benzema leading the line, with the striker opening the scoring for the home side just after the half-hour mark.

Talks over a renewal are on hold and Isco has stressed his desire to play more regularly, but he made the most of his 14th LaLiga start of the season in the 3-0 home win over Alaves.

But Barcelona could trim their lead back to two when they face Granada tonight (7.45pm). "We know that that is what we have and at any moment we can hurt our rivals".

"At the time of the second goal we had difficulties and had been losing possession, but then the ball arrived at Cristiano [Ronaldo], he passed to Isco and we scored", said Zidane.

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Sergio Ramos, Keylor Navas, James Rodriguez and Marcelo have all been rested by the hosts for the visit of Deportivo Alaves, while Casemiro is suspended. They are now in 10th place in the league but they are also only four points back from seventh-place Athletic Bilbao.

"We need everyone and every game is important", Zidane said.

Real Madrid last time the home scored less than 2 goals per game on October 2 previous year.

Edgar Mendez had the best shot for Alaves in the 60th when he was left all alone in the six-yard box, only for the forward to drive the ball back past the far post.

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However, Isco settled their nerves when he rocketed Ronaldo's through ball into the roof of the net from a narrow angle. Bale's freekick comes back off the bar with the goalkeeper tipping it on to the woodwork, but Nacho was on hand to head home the rebound.

In the wake of Sporting director Monchi's decision to leave the club after 17 years, Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli cast doubt on his future before kick-off with Argentina reportedly interested in hiring him to salvage their floundering World Cup qualifying campaign.

Sevilla slip down to fourth spot on 58 points, level with Atletico Madrid, who leapfrogged them on goal difference after beating Malaga 2-0 on Saturday.

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