Goals in each half from Lucas Vasquez and Marco Asensio helped Real Madrid to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano on Saturday.
Zinedine Zidane named a different starting 11 from the side that drew 1-1 against Elche last week. While Ferland Mendy came in for Marcelo, Nacho replaced captain Sergio Ramos, who missed the game through illness.
The visitors started the game on the front foot and got the first chance to break the deadlock as early as the fifth minute. Nolito played in Iago Aspas beautifully but the former Liverpool man saw his lobbed effort cleared off the line.
A quick breakaway saw Real Madrid advance down the other end. Vasquez was on hand to head home a pin-point cross by Marco Asensio less than a minute later.
The opening goal gave Los Blancos the advantage they needed, and they gave a controlled performance to go into the break one goal ahead.
The second half started in disastrous fashion for the visitors, as their in-form talisman Iago Aspas had to be substituted with what appeared to be a hamstring injury in the 51st minute. Real Madrid doubled their lead not long after.
An interception near the Celta goal saw Vazquez turn provider for Asensio, playing him in with a delightful through-ball which the 24-year-old finished exquisitely.
From that moment onwards, it was cruise control for Real Madrid. Neither side fashioned too many chances, although Karim Benzema saw a left-footed shot sail just wide while Miguel Baeza saw his goal-bound shot blocked by the impressive Nacho in the final moments.
The win momentarily sends Real Madrid to the top of the league, pending the outcome of Atletico Madrid's result. Here, we shall be highlighting five talking points from the fixture.
#5 Real Madrid kick off new year in convincing style
The year 2020 ended on a disappointing note for Real Madrid, as they threw away a one-goal advantage to draw 1-1 with Elche in the final game of the year.
That stalemate saw Los Blancos fall two points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid on the La Liga table, while it also brought their six-game winning run to an end.
With Atletico holding a two-game advantage, Real Madrid can hardly afford any more slip-ups if they are to successfully retain their La Liga crown. They responded in style with a comfortable win in their first game of the new year.
It was a perfect throwback to the compact side that stormed their way to the title post-lockdown last season, with a resolute defence and dominant midfield ensuring that the hosts cruised to victory.
#4 Celta Vigo suffer injury worries to Nolito and Iago Aspas
Celta Vigo lost the services of two of their key players, with Iago Aspas and Nolito both hobbling off the field with what appeared to be hamstring injuries.
Although no official diagnosis has been given on their injuries, cameras showed ice packs being applied to the thighs of the two players in the stands, which was hardly a comforting sight to fans of the side.
Both players are extremely crucial to everything Celta Vigo hope to achieve this season and were directly involved in their only chance of the game.
In light of this, manager Eduardo Coudet would be hoping his two star players can return to full fitness quickly.