MADRID (REUTERS) - Real Madrid eased to a 3-0 La Liga win over lowly Las Palmas on Saturday (March 31) 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 said he would wait until Nacho underwent tests before declaring if he could face Juventus, but said the defender "is not happy and is not feeling comfortable".
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.
"This was a complicated game for us after the international break and we got an important victory which will serve us well going into Tuesday's game," Real winger Vazquez said.
"We've been in very good form for the last few months, we've been playing better and scoring more. Things are going very well for us right now and we hope we can take advantage on Tuesday."