Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 in El Clasico last Sunday but only managed a scoreless draw at home to Osasuna during the week. Elche hadn’t won going into the game since October third, and lost 1-0 to struggling Alaves on Tuesday night.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) October 30, 2021
The visitors went into the game in the knowledge that they would go top with a win, as it would draw them level on points with leaders Real Sociedad and they have a better goal difference. They were second at kick-off, while Elche were 15th.
Karim Benzema was quite surprisingly left out of the team, but Madrid still had enough firepower to take a 22nd minute lead. Vinicius combined well with Mariano Diaz before arrowing a ruthless finish past Kiko Casilla in Elche’s goal.
Elche gave a good account of themselves despite going a goal down, although their task became a lot more difficult in the 62nd minute. Raul Guti, an important midfielder of theirs, saw red after picking up a second yellow following a challenge on Toni Kroos.
Shortly after, Vinicius and Madrid struck again. This time Luka Modric funnelled a smart ball into the Brazilian, who took a smart touch to set himself up before lifting the ball cooly over Casilla.
It wasn’t over and done with, however. Casemiro lost the ball cheaply in the 86th minute to allow Pere Milla in on goal. The 29-year-old, a second-half substitute for Elche, made no mistake and finished with composure past Thibaut Courtois.