Marco Asensio, Real Madrid Move into 3rd Place in La Liga with Win over Eibar

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2017

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd-L) heads the ball with Eibar's Spanish defender David Lomban next to Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane (L) and Eibar's Portuguese defender Paulo Rodrigues Oliveira (R) during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs SD Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU        (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/Getty Images

Eibar gave Real Madrid a tricky challenge during the first half of Sunday's La Liga contest, but Los Blancos came away with a 3-0 win that moved them past rivals Atletico Madrid and into third place.

An own goal from Paulo Oliveira and a sweet strike from Marco Asensio gave Real a two-goal lead in the first half, and the visitors never came close to an unlikely comeback after the break. Marcelo added a third goal to put the final score on the board. 

Here's a look at the teams:

Kiko Casilla got the start in place of Keylor Navas in goal and nearly gifted the visitors an early lead after dropping a routine cross. Fortunately for the stopper, Joan Jordan couldn't convert.

Eibar more than held their own early and were the more dangerous side in the opening stages, to the disbelief of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos couldn't muster any real chances but were helped out by their opponents after 18 minutes. Isco's cross deflected off both Sergio Ramos and Oliveira and ended up in the back of the net. Goal.com's Ben Hayward couldn't help himself:

Casemiro and Oliveira came to blows shortly after, with the former instigating the incident after he was nutmegged. Both were booked, but the Brazilian easily could have been sent off for his actions.

Real had no interest in getting involved in an ugly scrap with Eibar and needed a second goal badly. Asensio promptly delivered with a volley, although goalkeeper Marko Dimitrovic didn't make it hard on him, per Robbie Dunne of AS English:

Real briefly pushed for a third goal before settling down, and Eibar were unable to threaten much for the remainder of the half. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric did their defensive duties to avoid late drama on free-kicks, but the counters led to nothing―at half-time, the score was 2-0.

Dimitrovic somewhat redeemed himself early in the second half with a good save to deny Isco, but Real were in full control. Asensio nearly got past Oliveira but had his shot blocked, and Dimitrovic made a strong claim on the resulting corner.

Modric should have played in Ronaldo, rather than opt for personal glory, and the Ballon d'Or favourite ran into Dimitrovic shortly after. Ronaldo was far from his best on Sunday, but that easily could have been a goal, if not for the great save.

Substitute Karim Benzema also got involved, but Dimitrovic continued his good form after the break. Takashi Inui fired a rare Eibar chance wide before Marcelo ended the match as a contest after a good one-two with Benzema.

Hayward was impressed:

The win takes Real past Atletico in the standings. Los Blancos sit one point behind Valencia and five behind Barcelona.

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