Marco Asensio doesn’t score tap-ins and with his fourth goal of the season – all of them from outside the area – he helped Real Madrid see off Las Palmas to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to eight points.
The 21-year-old Spain international has been strangely ignored by coach Zinedine Zidane of late starting only nine of the 17 games he has taken part in this season.
He has spent much of the last few weeks watching Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema missing chances. Given the opportunity against Las Palmas he did not disappoint with a pile driver on 56 minutes that made it 2-0 after Casemiro’s opener and Isco’s glorious third.
Midfielder Isco celebrates scoring Real Madrid’s third goal after he taps home a wonderful cross from Ronaldo
Marco Asensio celebrates scoring Madrid’s second goal to take all three points against Las Palmas on Sunday evening
Casemiro gave Real Madrid the lead as he ghosted to the back post to convert a corner with a close range header
Casemiro celebrates scoring his side’s well-deserved goal after they struggled to find the first-half breakthrough
MATCH FACTS AND LINE-UPS
Real Madrid: Casilla, Vallejo, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Casemiro (Llorente, 68), Kroos (Ceballos, 78), Asensio, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema (Lucas Vazquez, 75)
Subs not used: Moha, Modric, Theo Hernandez, Mayoral
Booked: Isco, Kross
Las Palmas: Raul, Michel, Ximo, Bigas, Castellano, Lemos, Vicente Gomez (Remy, 64), Castellano, Vitolo, Aquilani (Hernan, 83), Calleri
Subs not used: Chichizola, David Garcia, Samper, Momo, Borja
Ronaldo and Benzema both failed to score again and despite playing well and providing an excellent assist for the third Ronaldo was clearly annoyed by his goal drought.
He failed to celebrate the third despite having made it and then kicked the ball away on 90 minutes before marching off down the tunnel as soon as the whistle was blown for full-time.
Asensio’s goal was the highlight. He had positioned himself a long way from the edge of the area for a Madrid corner.
He must have known what was coming because when the ball was headed away he had a decent run-up before putting his foot through it and scoring through a crowd of players.
Asensio played a minor part in the third too playing in Ronaldo who sprinted clear before finding Isco at the back post.
The two second-half goals gave the scoreline a more respectable look and helped home supporters forget a wasteful first half.
Karim Benzema should have put Real Madrid ahead after just four minutes. Ronaldo put him through but with only Raul Lizoain to beat his shot was blocked by the Las Palmas keeper.
Ronaldo failed to get on the Madrid score sheet but was instrumental in their comfortable win on Sunday evening
Nacho Fernandez slides to tackle Las Palmas defender Ximo Navarro as the visitors fail to make an impact
Isco sealed the victory after scoring the third from close range, after latching on to a cross at the back post
Asensio is in good spirits after his glorious goal, a sweet half-volley which flew into the top corner of the net
Zinedine Zidane shouts instructions at his side after a series of disappointing results in recent weeks
Ronaldo had an early chance too when he turned Pedro Bigas and smashed a shot into the side netting. He then clipped the outside of a post with a curling left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
Four minutes before the break Madrid finally go themselves in front. Asensio’s corner was inadvertently flicked on by a Las Palmas defender and Casemiro arrived at the back post to head in.
There was a somewhat muted celebration from Real Madrid – a reflection of how ineffective they had been in the first half. That was before Ronaldo opted not to celebrate Isco’s goal despite having played such a big part in the build-up.
Las Palmas had won none of their previous 33 league visits to the Santiago Bernabeu – this was the perfect fixture to put a smile back on the face of the Bernabeu and Madrid did that in the second period.
Las Palmas’ goalkeeper Raul Lizoain did well to keep the score down as Ronaldo sees his effort saved
Las Palmas’ Argentinian forward Jonathan Calleri battles for the ball with Real Madrid’s Spanish defender Jesus Vallejo
Brazilian defender Marcelo powers past fellow Brazilian defender Michel as the hosts pile on the pressure
The Madrid players celebrate taking the lead after Casemiro’s goal against 19th placed Las Palmas in the Spanish capital
They might have won a penalty when Casemiro was bundled over in the box. The Madrid midfielder was then let off a tug on Vitolo in the other penalty area.
One penalty turned down at one end and then given the benefit of the doubt at the other end.
Nacho might have won a penalty and Sergio Ramos hit the bar as Real Madrid pushed for a fourth goal. The 3-0 scoreline will restore some of the faith damaged by that midweek defeat against Tottenham.
But the real test will come in a fortnight when they play the Madrid derby in Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
‘This will lift the team before that game,’ said a relieved Ramos on the final whistle. ‘
Asensio has a natural talent and we saw that again. For Karim and Cristiano, the goals will come.’
Isco skips past Las Palmas’ Vicente Gomez but it was not been a vintage Real Madrid performance at home
Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post with a lashing shoot as Real Madrid continued to misfire in the first-half against Las Palmas
The winger looked a constant threat for the home-side as he continued to drive at the steady Las Palmas defence
Real Madrid’s Isco battles for the ball against Joaquin Navarro during the La Liga fixture in the Spanish capital
Both sets of players linked together for a minute silence ahead of their La Liga fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu