Cristiano Ronaldo ended his four-match La Liga drought as Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Levante on Saturday.
Los Blancos made four changes in total from their 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Atletico a fortnight ago, having brought in Nacho Fernandez, Danilo, Mateo Kovacic and – most notably – Gareth Bale.
Levante, meanwhile, welcomed the two Victors, Camarasa and Casadesus, into their XI from their impressive win against table-topping Villarreal to end the Yellow Submarine's unbeaten start to the season.
There was also a first return against Levante for Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican spent two seasons at Ciutat de Valencia prior to his move to the capital after the 2014 World Cup.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Valencians began the match in better shape and even ended the first 45 minutes with more shots on goal than the hosts, but they were left to rue Navas’ fine goalkeeping to deny Deyverson’s header on the line and Roger Marti twice from shooting positions.
What was less surprising, consequently, was Madrid being awaken by Levante’s inability to take their chances, Marcelo breaking the deadlock with a strong run down the left-hand side, a one-two with Cristiano Ronaldo and an accomplished finish across Ruben Martinez.
Ronaldo had never gone five La Liga games without a goal, but that unwanted record did not suffice as he scored Madrid’s second moments later with a curling finish from Toni Kroos’ layoff after Zouhair Feddal had cheaply lost possession in his own half.
The restart was a far-more subdued affair, although Madrid still had to ride their luck when substitute Nabil Ghilas failed to take advantage of a one-on-one with Navas, lacking the composure to guide his lob over the custodian, and Devyerson blazed over a free shot at goal.
It was left to substitute Jese Rodriguez, yet to find the back of the net in 2015-16, to round off an ultimately-comfortable win for Madrid in spectacular fashion, beating his man with ease in the box, before smashing home a finish.
Real Madrid 3-0 Levante
Marcelo 27, Ronaldo 30, Jese 81
Real Madrid: Navas; Marcelo, Varane, Nacho, Danilo; Casemiro, Kroos; Isco (Jese 69), Kovacic (Llorente 77), Bale (Vazquez 46); Ronaldo
Levante: Ruben; Morales, Simao, Juanfran, Tono; Victor, Jose Mari (Lerma 63), Camarasa; Roger (Ghilas 53), Deyverson (Garcia 75)
Referee: Sanchez Martinez