Real Madrid eased past La Liga newcomers Las Palmas 3-1 to move three points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table on Saturday.
The Canary Islanders were making their first visit to the Santiago Bernabeu in 13 years, but couldn’t have gotten off to a worst start as Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid 2-0 up inside 15 minutes.
Hernan’s header briefly gave the visitors hope seven minutes before half-time, yet Madrid restored their two-goal advantage just five minutes later through Jese Rodriguez’s fine finish.
Barcelona can move back level on points with Madrid by winning at Getafe later on Saturday.
Real were without Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema through injury as coach Rafael Benitez preferred not to risk any of his stars ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s visit in the Champions League on Tuesday.
However, the hosts were never put under any serious pressure as Las Palmas coughed up possession deep inside their own half after four minutes and Casemiro teed up Isco to coolly slot home his first goal of the season.
Ronaldo then added his 13th goal in as many games this campaign with a diving header to meet Marcelo’s perfect cross from the left 10 minutes later.
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Goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was making his first appearance for the Real senior team after rejoining his boyhood club from Espanyol in July and he was forced into action for the first time by Jonathan Viera’s low shot which he parried to safety.
There was little Casilla could do seven minutes before half-time, though, as Madrid conceded for the first time at home this season when Hernan was given acres of space to head home Nabil El Zhar’s corner via the underside of the crossbar.
Yet, any hope of a close contest was wiped away moments later when Jese skipped past Aythami Artiles before firing into the bottom corner.
Las Palmas started the better in the second period as Willian Jose blasted over with a great chance on the counter-attack before Casilla produced a brilliant save to turn the Brazilian’s free-kick behind for a corner.
Madrid produced precious little after the break as Benitez also took off Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to keep them fresh for midweek.
However, Ronaldo should have added to his tally in stoppage time when he failed to beat Javi Varas when clean through on goal and the keeper got quickly back on his feet to also prevent Lucas Vazquez’s follow-up effort finding the net.