Defending champions, Real Madrid cruised to a rather comfortable 2-1 win against Malaga, at La Rosaleda, on Sunday. Thanks to the victory, the Los Blancos have climbed up to third and will look to put pressure on Atletico who sit at second with a four-point advantage.
Here, we take a look at three-things we learned from the matchday-32 encounter.
3. No Ronaldo, No Problem
After the gruesome Champions League fixture against Juventus, Zinedine Zidane expectedly kept some of his star players out of the squad. Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric all were given the day off but Real Madrid still managed to put on a comfortable show.
Former Malaga man, Isco looked majestic on the night, breaking the hosts at will. His fantastic free-kick put Real Madrid ahead while his presence of mind set Casemiro up for the second. It has not been all smooth sailing for Zidane's men this season, but they are finally living up to the billing in the final stretch of the season.
2. Zidane's 100th
The win last night didn't only put Real in third place in La Liga, it also marked the 100th win under Zinedine Zidane. Since taking charge back in 2016, the former Madrid player has led the team to two consecutive Champions League titles and a La Liga.
The Frenchman also focused on bringing in promising young talents instead of just shelling out a bucketload of cash, which will certainly pay-off in the recent future. He has a winning precentage of 71.4 only bettered by Jose Mourinho's 71.9.
1. Benzema Struggles, Again
In absence of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema finally had the freedom to lead Real Madrid's attack. The player showed intent, true but he once again suffered in front of goal.
In the opening quarter, Benzema missed a glorious opportunity to put Real Madrid ahead. He also caught flat-footed at times, unsure of what to do. As the match progressed, we saw the creative side of Benzema, demonstrated by the way he helped set up the second goal. Zidane still kept his faith in the player, let's see if that pays dividends when Real need it the most.