MADRID (Reuters) – A second half double from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid to a 4-1 victory at Girona on Sunday and maintain their perfect La Liga start in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale also netted for Julen Lopetegui’s European champions, who survived an early scare when former Real B-team player Borja Garcia put the Catalans ahead after 17 minutes.
Eusebio Sacristan’s side then missed a host of chances to double their advantage and were made to pay when Marc Muniesa felled Marco Asensio to allow Ramos to level the scores from the penalty spot just before the break, and from then on it was one-way traffic.
Asensio won another spot kick when he was crudely brought down by Pere Pons after the restart and captain Ramos allowed France forward Benzema to take the resulting spot kick that put Real ahead.
Bale then latched onto an Isco through ball to score in his sixth consecutive league appearance before setting up Benzema’s close-range effort that sealed the victory for Real.
Earlier on Sunday goals from Esteban Granero and Borja Iglesias helped Espanyol to defeat Valencia 2-0.
(Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli, editing by Pritha Sarkar)