Sunday, 24 January 2021 09:15

Staff Reporter.

Karim Benzema scored twice and Eden Hazard picked up a rare goal as Real Madrid beat Alaves 4-1 in handy fashion in La Liga on Saturday.

Real Madrid, who were without manager Zinedine Zidane due to COVID, took the lead early in the first half when Casemiro headed home in the 15th minute from a corner kick.

Benzema and Hazard, who scored for just the second time all season, added a pair of well-taken goals shortly before half-time as Madrid took a 3-0 lead into the break.

Alaves pulled one back shortly before the hour mark when Joselu beat Thibaut Courtois from a Lucas Perez cross following a set piece to trim Real's lead to two goals.

Benzema put any hopes of a comeback for the hosts away soon after the Joselu goal, cutting in from the left on a counter-attack and burying a right-footed shot that Alaves' Fernando Pacheco had no chance to save.

Victory moved second-placed Real to within four points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand.