Two second-half headers from Karim Benzema saw Real Madrid come from behind to beat Eibar 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday (Apr 6) and secure a win in Zinedine Zidane’s 100th La Liga game as coach.
Benzema had an effort ruled out for offside early on, but it was a miserable first-half display from Los Blancos in front of a low crowd.
Zidane’s side had lost 2-1 at Valencia on Wednesday and it looked like they might be defeated again here in a disjointed display which brought whistles from the home supporters – for Gareth Bale in particular.
But boos for the entire team followed as Marc Cardona put the visitors in front after 39 minutes, the former F.C. Barcelona youngster dinking the ball over Keylor Navas at the far post following a neat pass by Gonzalo Escalante.
The Madrid players were whistled off at the interval and started slowly in the second half as well against an Eibar side seeking another win over Real, having beaten Los Blancos 3-0 at Ipurua earlier this season.
Gradually, though, Zidane’s side began to improve and after Benzema saw another effort ruled out for a marginal offside, the French forward rose to head home a Marco Asensio to make it 1-1 just short of the hour mark.
And after Bale went off to loud whistles, substitute Toni Kroos crossed for Benzema to head home the winner with nine minutes left.
The Frenchman was the difference between the two teams in the end and he missed several chances to complete his hat-trick late in the game, shooting straight at Dmitrovic following a pass from Lucas Vazquez, then blasting just over from close range after a mistake by the goalkeeper and finally hitting the post in added time.
Madrid move provisionally two points behind Atletico, in action against leaders Barcelona at Camp Nou later, after 31 games. Eibar, meanwhile, are back in 11th place, 10 points clear of the relegation zone.