Bale brace conquers islanders

Real Madrid kept up the pressure on Atletico Madrid with a comfortable  3-0 win at Las Palmas on Saturday.

See how the action unfolded at Gran Canaria with our liveblog!

Gareth Bale took full advantage of a rare start with a goal either side of half-time and Karim Benzema converted a penalty as Madrid moved to within a point of second-placed Atleti and left Las Palmas fighting for their lives.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Isco were all rested, with Madrid's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Juventus in mind, while Dani Carvajal was suspended.

Las Palmas, on the other hand, were seven points adrift of safety after Levante's 1-1 draw with Girona, and had gone seven games without a win.

They did manage to hold Madrid to a 2-2 draw the last time both sides met at Gran Canaria, but the capital giants had no such problems this time around.

Indeed, a simple ball over the top was read by Bale, who fired home his one-on-one with Leandro Chichizola to give Madrid the lead.

Just 10 minutes later, Lucas Vazquez was sandwiched by two Las Palmas players in the box, paving the way for Karim Benzema to score from the penalty spot.

It was game, set and match early in the second half, when Ximo Navarro's late lunge on Bale allowed the Welshman to bag his second of the game, converting another penalty.

Los Merengues could've extended the margin of their victory further, but Marco Asensio could only slot his one-on-one wide and Benzema failed to beat Chichizola twice from point-blank range.

Las Palmas, for their part, had chances to at least make a game of it, yet Alen Halilovic's early drive was pushed away by Keylor Navas, who then tipped over Jonathan Calleri's looping header.

There was some bad news for Madrid, however, as Nacho Fernandez went off in tears before the break with a suspected injury.

Las Palmas 0-3 Real Madrid

Bale 26, pen 51, Benzema pen 39

Las Palmas: Chichizola; Michel (Jairo 46), Galvez, Ximo, Aguirregaray; Javi Castellano, Vicente (Exposito  46), Aquilani; Halilovic, Calleri, Momo (Ezekiel 85)

Real Madrid: Keylor; Nacho (Achraf 29), Varane, Vallejo, Theo; Vazquez, Modric (Kovacic 61), Casemiro (Marcos Llorente 62), Asensio; Bale, Benzema

Referee: Gonzalez Fuertes

La Liga - Club News