At times it looked as if Real Madrid were focusing on their Champions League tie in the mid-week but in the end they got the job done on Saturday, defeating Elche 3-0. Asier Illaramendi gave Madrid a lead in the first half and Gareth Bale's thunderbolt secured the points late.
Real Madrid put Elche under pressure immediately, asking questions of the defender and goalkeeper Manuel Yagüe. Karim Benzema tested the keeper in the 3rd minute, putting a shot on frame that forced Yagüe to make a good save, pushing the ball out for a corner. Six minutes later Ángel di María flicked on a corner kick, hitting the ball off the top of the crossbar.
It took a bit for Madrid to finally break through with the opener but it arrived in the 34th minute on a set piece. Pepe headed down an out-swinging corner right to Asier Illarramendi who was positioned on the edge of the Elche area. The midfielder's low show took a favorable deflection off the toe of Elche forward Manu and eluded Yagüe.
The goal was Illarramendi's first league goal for Madrid since joining the club over the summer.
Elche kept the match close, much as they did in the first meeting, but were finally broken down in the 71st minute. Gareth Bale did the damage receiving the ball 25-yards from goal and rocketing a shot past Yagüe's fingertips, off the underside of the crossbar and over the line, giving Madrid a 2-0 lead.
Madrid added a third in the 81st minute when Benzema fed Isco in the middle of the Elche area, allowing the midfielder to dribble past his marker and beat Yagüe from a tight angle to make it 3-0.
Real Madrid: Diego López, Carvajal, Varane, Pepe, Arbeloa, Illarramendi, Alonso (Casemiro 83'), Di María, Jesé (Isco 74'), Bale, Benzema (Morata 82')
Goals: Illarramendi (34'), Bale (71'), Isco (81')
Elche: Manuel Yagüe, Botía, Lombán, Albácar, Domingo, Rivera (Aarón 73'), Rubén Pérez, Javi Márquez, Coro, Manu (Fidel 74'), Carles Gil (Herrera 79')