Gareth Bale, Real Madrid Beat Leganes 4-1 in La Liga Action

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist ISeptember 1, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 1: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates 2-1 during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Leganes at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 1, 2018 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid maintained their perfect start to La Liga with a 4-1 win over Leganes at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Gareth Bale sent Los Blancos on their way with a neat volley on 17 minutes. However, Guido Carrillo equalised from the penalty spot after Casemiro had fouled Javier Eraso.

Karim Benzema scored twice after the break to put the hosts back in charge before Sergio Ramos sealed all three points with a penalty.

         

Real Madrid Are Reinvented Under Lopetegui

Saturday saw Real Madrid put in their best performance since Julen Lopetegui replaced Zinedine Zidane at the helm in the summer, as they swept past Leganes with few problems.

The hosts were positive throughout the match, looked sharp going forward and showed good fluidity. Spanish football journalist David Cartlidge shared his view:

Real Madrid took total control in the second half. Benzema restored their lead just three minutes after the break with a controlled header.

His second was even better, as he picked up a ball from Marcelo, swapped passes with Luka Modric and then fired a low shot into the back of the net.

Sports writer Andy West said they look a better team than they did under Zidane:

Ramos' fourth goal means Real Madrid have scored 10 times in their opening three games and look set to give Barcelona and Atletico Madrid a serious fight for the title.

             

Benzema and Bale Flourishing Without Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo's departure for Juventus looked as if it may cause problems in attack for Real Madrid, but that's not been the case so far.

Benzema was in superb form on Saturday. He scored two and might have had a hat-trick but for goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar.

Goal's Ben Hayward noted the improvement in Benzema's goalscoring record this season:

Bale was also on target for the third game in a row. The Wales international is on his best-ever goalscoring run, per Opta:

The forwards seem to be flourishing without Ronaldo in the team and are showing that the club does not need a big-money replacement for the superstar.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo has yet to open his account for Juventus, a fact that is unlikely to have gone unnoticed at Real Madrid.

             

Asensio Increasingly Influential for Madrid

Bale and Benzema will capture most of the headlines, but Marco Asensio had yet another influential performance for Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has said he wants to become more important at Real Madrid, per Marca. He is making some crucial contributions in the early weeks of the season.

Asensio assisted Benzema's first goal, given after a VAR review, and also won the penalty after being fouled by Unai Bustinza.

The Spain international has won his side three penalties in his past two games, per Hayward:

Asensio linked well with Benzema and Bale as Real Madrid played some superb attacking football. Squawka's Muhammad Butt shared his view:

The forward received a standing ovation from the Santiago Bernabeu crowd when he was replaced late on. It might not be the last this season if he can continue his early-season form.

            

What's Next?

La Liga pauses after Sunday because of the international break. Next up for Real Madrid is a trip to Athletic Bilbao on September 15. Leganes play a day later at home to Villarreal.

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