Madrid: Real Madrid and striker Karim Benzema warmed up for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal return leg against FC Barcelona by scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of hapless Valladolid.
Rodrygo opened the scoring for Real Madrid in the 22nd minute of the game, before Benzema scored a hat-trick to put the game beyond doubt before halftime.
The French striker had been struggling for form before the international break, but scored a header, a right foot shot and an overhead kick to leave Valladolid reeling.
The visitors had only won once in Bernabeu in their entire history and their pain was completed in the second half as Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez completed the rout.
FC Barcelona ensured their 12-point lead with a 4-0 win away to Elche on Saturday night.
The arrival of Christian Braganik as Elche coach did little to change the dynamic of his side as Barca won with few problems.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice, while Ansu Fati scored a morale boosting individual goal and Ferran Torres rounded up the scoring with 20 minutes left to play as Barca prepared for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash against Madrid.
Atletico Madrid took a huge stride towards guaranteeing Champions League football next season with a 1-0 win at home to Betis.
Second half substitute Angel Correa scored an individual goal five minutes from time, beating two defenders and scoring with an angled shot.
Villarreal strengthened their hopes of a top-four finish with a 2-0 win at home to Real Sociedad thanks to second half goals from Dani Parejo (who scored a penalty provoked by Samuel Chukwueze) and Nicholas Jackson, although Jackson spoiled his afternoon when he was sent off in the last minute of the game.
Athletic Bilbao and Getafe drew 0-0, with the home side controlling the ball, but failing to break down a packed Getafe defense.
The best news for the home fans came after the final whistle when Athletic’s Spain under-21 international midfielder Oihan Sancet announced to the crowd that he had signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until the end of June 2032.
Jose Luis Mendilibar debuted as Sevilla coach with an important 2-0 win in a relegation dogfight away to Cadiz.
Cadiz had a strong penalty appeal for handball rejected before Sevilla took the lead in the 50th minute through winger Lucas Ocampos and Youssef En-Nesyri doubled their lead in the 73rd minute.
Espanyol slipped deeper into trouble after losing a Catalan derby 2-1 away to Girona. Arnau Martinez put Girona ahead with a spectacular left foot shot early in the second half, before Martin Braithwaite equalized from close range in the 74th minute.
Espanyol defender Sergi Gomez was sent off for a bad challenge and Girona won the game with an 88th minute penalty from Cristhian Stauni, to leave Espanyol coach Diego Martinez in danger of sacking.
Elsewhere, Mallorca and Osasuna drew 0-0 in a game of few chances while Almeria took a creditable 2-2 draw away to Celta.