Real Madrid slice and dice Leganés
Real Madrid 5-0 Leganés: as it happened
Peeep peep peeep! It's been a walk in the park for Real Madrid, who climb four places in LaLiga to sit second overnight.
It is not hard to see why Leganés are bottom of the league with just one win to their name: they offered up almost no resistance to a Madrid side who had the game won within seven minutes.
Indeed, after Rodyrgo Goes and Toni Kroos' early goals had put Los Blancos in charge, Leganés were fortunate only to concede one more before half time, courtesy of Sergio Ramos' retaken penalty.
Karim Benzema converted another spot-kick after the break, before Luka Jovic's first goal for the club completed a rout that takes Madrid to within one point of current leaders Barcelona.
Granada, who have played a game more than Madrid and Barça, have the chance to regain their surprise position at the top of the table tomorrow, when they take on Getafe.
Thanks for reading!
Jovic almost has a second!
Real Madrid win a corner which prompts absolute pinball stuff inside the Leganés box. It finally drops to the feet of the Serb, who prods towards goal but, on this occasion, can't beat Soriano!
Three minutes of time added on at the Bernabéu.
5-0! Jovic is off the mark at last!
Having already had one header from a Carvajal cross chalked off, the striker again nods home from the Spaniard's ball into the box - and this time it does count!
Isco fires a low drive at goal that is beaten out by Soriano.
Up the other end, Leganés get Silva into dangerous shooting space on the left hand of the box, but he thumps his effort straight at Courtois.
Marcelo is down and in some pain after being trodden on by Ruibal. He looks like he'll run it off, though.
Aitor Ruibal is booked for high feet on Casemiro.
Five minutes to go. The ref may as well blow up on the 90.
En Nesyri heads over for Leganés, before Real Madrid launch a renewed offensive that ends up with Marcelo lashing a near-post shot at Soriano's that stings the goalkeeper's palms. He certainly got hold of that one.
There's a chance for five... but Hazard gets his cut-back wrong!
Rodrygo slips the Belgian in behind the Leganés defence with a lovely little ball, but he opts to pull it back rather than shooting - and places his pass too far in front of Varane.
Real Madrid make their final substitution, replacing Valverde with Isco.
Leganés also used up their last sub a few moments ago, Rosales coming on for Bustinza.
Now Jovic has the ball in the net after heading home Carvajal's cross... but the flag is up, and rightly so. The Serb was clearly offside when the cross was played.
And he nearly does so right away, pinging a half-volley just past Soriano's post from the edge of the box! It's exactly the kind of strike that gets co-commentators gamely venturing that he "almost hit it too well".
That is Benzema's final touch of the ball. He's replaced by Luka Jovic, who'll have 20 very inviting minutes in which to try to finally open his account for Real Madrid.
Another penalty for Real Madrid!
Omeruo brings down Modric as the newly-introduced substitute prepares to pull the trigger inside the box, and referee Soto points to the spot. No complaints from Leganés.
Benzema will take this one...
Benzema goes so close to making it four.
Via a neat dummy by Hazard, Valverde slides the ball to the striker, who collects, cuts inside and pings low towards goal - but is denied by the post!
It's just substitutions and yellow cards at the moment. Leganés make their second change of the evening, withdrawing Óscar and throwing on Aitor Ruibal in his stead.
Marcelo is the first Real Madrid player to see yellow after bringing down Bustinza. The Brazilian doesn't seem altogether in agreement with the referee's decision to reach for his cards.
Modric comes on for Kroos, who departs to warm applause after scoring for the second straight game.
Rivera is the next Leganés man into the book after pulling back Kroos... and that is the German's last involvement.
En Nesyri gets to the byline and into a dangerous crossing position, but sends the ball straight down Courtois' gullet.
Up the other end, the ball is fizzed across goal towards Benzema, but the Frenchman can't connect.
Luka Modric is preparing to come on for the home side.
Leganés make the first substitution of the night, Recio replacing Rodrigues.
Leganés win a free-kick off Marcelo on the right, giving Óscar the chance to bend the ball into the mixer. Bend it into the mixer he does, with no little menace - but nobody in a green shirt attacks the delivery with sufficient intent, and it drifts across goal and away from danger.
Hazard skips past Silva on the right and leaves the Argentinian with little option but to bring him down. Yellow card.
Kroos stands over the free-kick but, uncharacteristically for the German, plops it straight into Soriano's arms.
Braithwaite tries to burst past Ramos and into the box, but massively overhits the ball and it trundles into Courtois' arms. I wonder what Cembranos' half-time team talk consisted of. 'Win the second half, lads', something like that? Rather him than me, that's all I'll say.
Right away Marcelo forces a save from Soriano, cutting inside Bustinza on the edge of the box and using his weaker, right foot to fire a shot at goal that the Leganés keeper grabs hold of without too much fuss.
No half-time changes for either side.
Peeeep! We are back underway at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Madrid heading into second
Barring the most sensational of sensational second-half turnarounds, Real Madrid are set to go second in LaLiga overnight, one point behind Barcelona. Granada will then have the chance to leapfrog them both when they take on Getafe tomorrow night.
Rodrygo Goes' goal was his second in LaLiga from just three shots in total, Opta note. He's been very impressive.
Peep peep peeeeep! It's been an absolute stroll for Real Madrid. Indeed, the half-time damage could so easily be far worse for Leganés. Christ they're ropey.
Bustinza is in the book after felling Hazard 30 yards out, giving Real Madrid an extremely inviting free-kick chance. Benzema stands over it... but slaps his effort over the bar.
Speaking of yellow cards, I neglected to inform you that Soriano was booked when he brought Hazard down for Madrid's penalty midway through the first half.
It's a matter of time before Madrid get a fourth.
Benzema plays a lovely one-two with Carvajal, advancing into the box to fire the return low towards Soriano's right-hand post - and force a fine stop from the Leganés keeper.
Kroos then shoots wide from the edge of the box, before Rodrygo heads the German's back-post cross over the bar. It's just opening after opening.
Kroos chips a ball into the box towards Benzema, who is winding up for another acrobatic effort when Silva nips in to clear.
Silva is then involved at the other end, but pumps his left-wing cross high into the Bernabéu stands.
15 in a row for Ramos
Stats guru Mister Chip has been busy crunching the numbers in the wake of that retaken Sergio Ramos penalty, and notes that it is the first time that a LaLiga spot-kick has been brought back on the recommendation of the video ref.
Having been a given a second bite at the cherry, meanwhile, Ramos converted what is his 15th straight successful penalty.
Should be four!
Rodrygo absolutely skins Jonathan Silva on the right flank, before firing a low ball into the middle that Valverde blazes over from six yards out.
Fine stop from Thibaut Courtois!
That'll do no harm to his rapport with the home crowd. Madrid loanee Óscar Rodríguez picks up the ball 30 yards out and unleashes a ferocious strike towards the top corner, but Courtois produces a flying save!
No mistake from Ramos this time!
The Real Madrid captain again produces a sidefooted effort, but on this occasion sends Soriano the wrong way, and Los Blancos are three to the good!
A VAR check deems that Soriano had both feet off the line when Ramos took his kick, and referee César Soto orders a retake!
Soriano saves! Ramos sidefoots it down the middle, and the Leganés keeper beats it out! But wait...
Penalty to Real Madrid! The hosts get Hazard scuttling in on Soriano, who brings the Belgian down! Ramos to take...
The way things are going, this could be a cricket score.
First, Rodrygo does ever so well to chase down the ball and cut it back into the danger area - but there's nobody there in a white shirt.
Moments later, Varane (of all people) crosses towards the back of the box, where Benzema produces an acrobatic effort that flies just wide!
Finally Leganés do something half-way threatening. Kévin Rodrigues bends a delicious low ball into the box from deep, but Raphaël Varane looks alive to deal with the danger.
Benzema has already set up two goals, and now goes in search of one of his own. Cutting inside into shooting space on the edge of the box, he opens up his body and looks to curl it into Soriano's left-hand top corner, but is just off target.
En Nesyri tries to run at the Madrid defence, but it's Rodrygo who has tracked back all the way into his own half to help run the Leganés striker off the ball.
A goal and a lung-bursting defensive effort, all in the first quarter of an hour; there are worse ways of winning over the home crowd.
2-0 to Real Madrid! Benzema again supplies the assist, and on this occasion it's Kroos who turns the ball home!
Having laid one on from the right, this time the Frenchman turns the ball across goal from the other side of the box, and Kroos gets just enough on it to angle it into the far corner past Juan Soriano!
That's two goals in two games for the German.
Rodrygo does get on the end of that one, though! 1-0 to Real Madrid!
Eden Hazard twists and turns on the left-hand touchline before playing the ball back to Marcelo, who curls a first-time cross to the far post. Benzema is in acres of space to volley back across the face of goal, where Rodrygo prods in!
All a bit too easy for the hosts.
Fede Valverde clips a neat ball in behind the Leganés backline towards Karim Benzema at the back stick. The Frenchman finally plops a cross back towards Valverde at the opposite far post, but the midfielder can't quite get on the end of it.
Leganés are wearing a fetching green away strip which almost completely camouflages them against the pitch. Cunning plan?
Peeeep! Underway at the Bernabéu!
Real can go second overnight
With Atlético Madrid, Sevilla and Real Sociedad all dropping points, Madrid can not only move to within a point of leaders Barcelona tonight, but can also go second.
Atlético were held at Alavés yesterday, while this evening's earlier kick-offs have seen Sevilla draw with Valencia and Real Sociedad lose to Levante.
Granada can regain their scarcely believable position at the top of LaLiga if they beat Getafe tomorrow night.
Both Madrid and Barça will have a game in hand until their rearranged Clásico is played, remember.
Tonight's referee is César Soto, who takes charge of his first game involving either side this term.
Cembranos rings the changes
Leganés' interim boss Luis Cembranos makes a whole host of changes to the team that saw off Real Mallorca at the weekend. Indeed, no fewer than six men - Juan Soriano, Rodri Tarín, Kenneth Omeruo, Kévin Rodrigues, Chidozie Awaziem and Youssef En Nesyri - all come in for the visitors.
With Madrid's 'fear clause' now abolished, on-loan attacking midfielder Óscar Rodriguez starts for Los Pepineros against his parent club.
Courtois faces home fans for first time since Brugge
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois plays his first home game since the Champions League draw with Club Brugge at the start of October, when his inability to keep out two first-half Emmanuel Dennis strikes prompted a dicky tummy-inducing earful from the home fans.
It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of reception Courtois gets, particularly after his altogether better display against Galatasaray.
Rodrygo starts; Vinicius in the stands
Vinicius is also uninvolved tonight, having been left out of the squad altogether - along with Brahim Díaz and Mariano Diáz - despite only getting the last 10 minutes of the win in Turkey.
Also absent are the suspended Álvaro Odriozola, and James Rodríguez, who is in Colombia for the birth of his child. Nacho Fernández and Marco Asensio remain longer-term injury victims.
Bale again absent
For the third game in succession, there is no Gareth Bale, who is still sidelined with a mystery injury - one which, it seems, Real Madrid haven't publicly clarified at the Welshman's behest. (Calf, by any chance, Gareth?)
Bale has been the focus of the attention during this football-less week at the Bernabéu, having made himself scarce from the training ground mid-recovery and instead hotfooted it to London for a Chinese with his agent.
Rodrygo handed first home start
Having impressed in the Champions League win at Galatasaray last time out, Rodrygo Goes keeps his place in what is an unchanged Real Madrid side. This will be the Brazilian's first home start for Los Blancos.
Casemiro plays despite suggestions he would be given a much-needed rest tonight, and Luka Modric and Lucas Vázquez both take their place on the bench after returning from injury.
Leganés team news:
Starting line-up: Soriano, Bustinza, Tarín, Omeruo, Silva, Rivera, Awaziem, Rodrigues, Óscar, En Nesyri, Braithwaite
Substitutes: Cuéllar, Recio, Arnáiz, Rosales, Carrillo, Ruibal, Avilés
Real Madrid team news:
Starting line-up: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Rodrygo, Benzema, Hazard
Substitutes: Areola, Militao, Modric, Vázquez, Jovic, Isco, Mendy
Real Madrid vs Leganés: preamble
The postponement of last Saturday's Clásico means it's been a while since we last saw Real Madrid in LaLiga action. 11 days, to be precise. That night at Son Moix, defeat to Real Mallorca saw Los Blancos relinquish top spot - and, having not played this weekend, they now host Leganés sitting down in sixth.
However, victory tonight over Los Pepineros - a side Madrid have never lost to in the league - will take Zinedine Zidane's men back to within a point of current leaders Barcelona, who last night thumped Real Valladolid 5-1 to provisionally leapfrog surprise package Granada.
After seven defeats and two draws in their first nine games of the league season, meanwhile, visitors Leganés sacked coach Mauricio Pellegrino last week and handed the interim reins to Luis Cembranos, who promptly oversaw the Madrid team's first win of the campaign on Saturday.
Combined with defeats for fellow strugglers Eibar, Celta Vigo and Real Betis, that 1-0 victory over Mallorca served to bring Leganés three points closer to hauling themselves out of the relegation zone - but, as things stand, they nonetheless go to the Bernabéu still rooted to the bottom.
Team news is in... stand by!