Leganes vs Real Madrid: LaLiga champions go third with 3-1 win

Leganes vs Real Madrid: LaLiga champions go third with 3-1 win

Should stand. With AP Photos.

Real will climb to third in the La Liga table and close the gap to leaders Barcelona to 14 points if they beat Leganes.

The Champions League holders have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey and sit 17 points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga and their hopes of success this season lay exclusively with the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo was given the night off by Zidane and, with Gareth Bale starting on the bench, Casemiro assumed the unlikely role of being Madrid's creative driving force. Madrid is seven points behind second-place Atletico Madrid.

Though the appropriate scans are yet to be carried out, my standard estimate - having now had the chance to watch the incident a couple of times - would be that we're looking at a period of between four and six weeks on the sidelines.

Despite going into the game unbeaten in five in all competitions since their Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Leganes, Zidane found himself under a measure of pressure with the league title seemingly well beyond his team.

The game was originally scheduled for December but had to be postponed due to Real's participation in the Club World Cup.

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The injury is the latest to hit the Madrid squad since their 3-1 win over PSG in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 last week.

Handed a more advanced role than usual before the break, midfielder Casemiro took full advantage to score a goal of genuine quality. Marcelo, Tony Kroos and Luka Modric are trying to recover from injuries in time for next month's return match against PSG in Paris. The defender dived in front of the ball as Madrid left back Theo Hernandez tried to clear it from near the goal line.

Kiko Casilla was handed a start in goal in place of regular number one Keylor Navas, and Casilla was picking the ball out of his net inside six minutes, with Bustinza bravely stooping to score from nearly on the line after his initial effort had been blocked.

The lead did not last long as Los Blancos as Lucas Vazquez collected a pass from Casemiro before finding the bottom corner with a clinical finish.

If the result weren't already beyond doubt at 2-1 up, Los Merengues were given the chance to make it so when Mateo Kovacic was bundled over in the opposition box with only a minute of normal time remaining.

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