Real Madrid are back in La Liga action on Thursday when they face Valencia at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium; Kick-off 9pm

Real Madrid closed the gap to league leaders Barcelona to two points with a 3-1 victory over Eibar on their return to La Liga action.

Playing behind closed doors at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, which is at Real’s training complex, Zinedine Zidane’s side hit the ground running, taking the lead in the fourth minute through Toni Kroos’ powerful strike.

Sergio Ramos (30) and Marcelo (37) then added to Real’s first-half tally but the hosts struggled for fluency in the second half as Eibar, who sat two points adrift of the relegation places, pulled a goal back through Pedro Bigas (60).

However, the damage was already done as Real, who brought on Gareth Bale for the final 30 minutes, held on for a victory which keeps their title challenge on track.

Real respond quickly

Real responded quickly to Barca’s 4-0 win at Mallorca on Saturday to keep the heat on their title rivals.

Kroos opened the scoring after four minutes when his first-time finish from 18 yards found the top corner following good work from Karim Benzema.

It was 2-0 after 30 minutes when Ramos started and finished a quick break, marauding forward before tapping in after an unselfish lay-off by Eden Hazard.

Seven minutes later Marcelo made the game safe when he drilled in from just inside the box after Hazard’s shot had been saved. The defender then took a knee to celebrate in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Substitute Sergi Enrich headed against the crossbar but the visitors eventually pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Bigas’ deflected effort found a way in.

Wales international Bale was a second-half substitute but struggled to impact the game, while Hazard came off and was pictured with an ice pack on the ankle he injured in February.

Despite a lacklustre end to the game, Real held on to stay in the hunt for the title.

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