Real Madrid leapfrogged Barcelona to go 2nd in La Liga after a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo at the Balaidos. Karim Benzema grabbed a brace as Los Blancos moved to within three points of leaders Atletico Madrid. Celta, meanwhile, remain eleventh in the table.
Real Madrid took advantage of Celta Vigo's sloppy start right from the off, fashioning a couple of early chances. Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the 20th minute, producing an excellent turn in the box before curling the ball into the bottom corner.
Los Blancos were full of excellent pressing in the first half, and Toni Kroos made it count. His tackle on Renato Tapia on the edge of the box resulted in Benzema making it 2-0 on the hour mark. That goal served to wake Celta Vigo up and they were much better for the rest of the half.
Santi Mina scored with a glancing header from Denis Suarez's free kick in the 40th minute, ensuring the Galicians went into the break 1-2 down. Os Celestes were much improved after the break, with Real Madrid now struggling to deal with their press.
Iago Aspas and Vinicius Jr. created a couple of dangerous situations but no goals were forthcoming. Benzema and Aspas went close as the game reached its final moments, with the latter hitting the post.
Madrid used all of their experience to see out the game, with Benzema setting up Marco Asensio in the final seconds of the game to make it 3-1.
On that note, here are five major talking points from the game:
#1 Karim Benzema is in the form of his life
Another game, another Karim Benzema goal. It's getting quite familiar to see the Frenchman on the scoresheet these days, although his late-game heroics were not needed on this occasion.
The Frenchman has scored 21 of Real Madrid's 59 goals this season - 35.59% of Los Blancos' goals. It's quite surprising that a club of Real Madrid's stature have almost become a one-man team, with Benzema pretty much their only goal-threat.
It's risky to become so dependent on one player, as Madrid's rivals Barcelona will no doubt testify. Yet, given the manner in which Karim Benzema has stepped up ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, it's only natural to do so.
Benzema may be carrying this team, but he's carrying them all the way to the league title if he keeps his form up.
#2 Chacho Coudet can achieve great things with Celta Vigo
Celta Vigo have looked a side transformed ever since Eduardo Coudet took over from Oscar Garcia, and today's game only served to underline his impact. The Galicians were frankly terrible in the first 30 minutes of the game, but were much improved after going 0-2 down.
Iago Aspas and Santi Mina turned the tables on the Real Madrid press, setting the tempo from the front as the pair's energy brought the best out of Thibaut Courtois's feet. Celta are comfortably mid-table at the moment, and such performances will ensure they look upwards towards the European spots rather than relegation.
That Coudet has achieved this with Iago Aspas being on quite a goal drought is impressive. The Spaniard is the beating heart of this side and once he finds his shooting boots, Celta will be a side to be feared.