Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio scored a stunning second-half goal as Zinedine Zidane’s side put their troubles behind them by cruising to a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in La Liga on Sunday.
Casemiro opened the scoring for the Spanish champions in the first half before Asensio and then Isco scored after the break to give Real their first win in three games in all competitions.
The victory took Real above neighbours Atletico, who also have 23 points, on goal difference into third spot, four off Valencia and eight adrift of Barcelona.
With their title rivals winning on Saturday, the pressure was on Madrid heading into the international break after a shock 2-1 defeat at Girona in their last Liga game and a 3-1 midweek reverse away to Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.
However, after a nervy opening period, Real’s class showed.
Karim Benzema missed their best chance after three minutes when he fired straight at keeper Raul Lizoain. Nacho then went close before Cristiano Ronaldo – who has one Liga goal this season – clipped the outside of the post with a left-foot shot.
Casemiro’s goal came at a good time for the home side, with the interval fast approaching, and released the tension around the Bernabeu when he stooped to nod home Asensio’s corner.
From there on it was plain sailing for Zidane’s side.
There appeared little danger when the ball fell to Asensio outside the box after 56 minutes but he thundered an unstoppable left-foot strike into the top corner.
Ronaldo went close again and Sergio Ramos struck the bar before Isco rounded off the scoring with a sweeping move on the break 15 minutes from the end. Late on there were a smattering of boos for French striker Benzema as he was substituted.
Las Palmas remain second-bottom on six points.