Real Madrid leapfrogged Barcelona to go second in the 2020-21 La Liga with a 2-0 win over Eibar at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano. Los Blancos are now only three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, while Eibar remain 19tth in the league table and look set for the drop.
Real Madrid began the game in excellent fashion, with Karim Benzema almost scoring twice in the opening five minutes. The Frenchman capitalised on a horrible backpass from Alejandro Pozo, but Marko Dmitrovic pulled off a great one-on-one save.
VAR was on hand to deny Benzema and Marco Asensio, with both players scoring from offside positions, with Asensio also hitting the bar from a free-kick.
Real Madrid finally had their reward in the 41st minute when Casemiro intercepted the ball in the middle of the park and set up Asensio. The Spaniard produced a great first touch to beat his marker before sweeping the ball into the net with a delectable curled finish.
Eibar fashioned a couple of threatening positions, but Real Madrid went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Asensio and Benzema had a couple of chances once play resumed. But it was Thibaut Courtois who nearly gave Eibar a route back into the game, misjudging a backpass and having to clear the ball off the line.
Casemiro had a goal ruled out in the 70th minute, but Sergio Arribas was offside in the buildup. However, the game was over as a contest in the 73rd minute when Karim Benzema headed home Vinicius Jr.'s excellent cross to make it 2-0 for Real Madrid.
Eibar tried their best to find the back of the net, but Real Madrid held firm to take all three points.
On that note, let's have a look at the five major talking points from the game:
#1 Marco Asensio capitalises on a consistent run for Real Madrid
Given the number of seasons Marco Asensio has spent with Real Madrid, it's quite staggering that this was the first time he played in three consecutive games.
Asensio started against Eibar like a house on fire. He hit the woodwork and then produced an ingenious backheel to nutmeg Dmitrovic only to see VAR rule his effort out as he caused Eibar all sorts of problems.
The Spaniard's sweetly struck goal was reminiscent of the Asensio of old. As the game wore on, he looked much more confident.
He was replaced on the hour mark, but perhaps it was because Zinedine Zidane wanted to preserve him for the game against Liverpool.
#2 Eibar's La Liga honeymoon is probably drawing to a close
The size of Eibar's home stadium, Ipurua, suggests just how much the club have been punching above their weight to stay in La Liga. Sadly, it seems the Basque side are destined to go down after producing a performance that provided little hope for their fans.
Jose Luis Mendilibar has always produced teams that make it tricky for the big sides, but Eibar offered little against Real Madrid on the night. The closest they came to scoring was when they never even touched the ball, with Courtois clearing off the line.
Eibar have Atletico Madrid, Granada, Real Sociedad, Valencia and Barcelona to face in their last nine games. So it's hard to see where they can find the points needed to survive. A seven-year stay in La Liga against all the odds is likely coming to an end this season.