MADRID, March 31 (Reuters) - Real Madrid eased to a 3-0 La Liga win over lowly Las Palmas on Saturday with goals from Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema despite missing six regular starters, including top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Sergio Ramos.
Bale exhibited his phenomenal pace and power to race on to an exquisite through ball from old Tottenham Hotspur team mate Luka Modric and fire in the opening goal in the 26th minute and stand-in captain Benzema doubled Real’s advantage from the penalty spot after Lucas Vazquez was fouled.
Bale won and converted another spot-kick six minutes into the second half to put Madrid further at ease against Paco Jemez’s struggling Las Palmas, who are 18th in the standings and seven points adrift of safety.
Real defender Nacho Fernandez had to be substituted in the first half with a thigh strain and the Spaniard was seen crying as he sat on the sidelines with the injury likely to rule him out of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Juventus.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane left Ronaldo, Marcelo and Toni Kroos at home for the trip to the Canary Islands and was without Isco and Ramos due to injury and Dani Carvajal through suspension, meaning his squad will be well rested for the trip to Turin for a re-run of last year’s Champions League final.
Zidane’s side are third in La Liga on 63 points, 12 behind runaway leaders Barcelona who play at Sevilla later on Saturday and one behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who host Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)