MADRID, Sept 2: Karim Benzema scored twice and Gareth Bale notched another for Real Madrid in a 4-1 thrashing of Leganes on Saturday after Atletico Madrid crashed to defeat in La Liga.
Benzema grabbed a second-half double and might have got his hat-trick had Sergio Ramos passed on the penalty he scored after a foul on Marco Asensio.
Atletico lost more ground on their city neighbours as they sank to a 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo which coach Diego Simeone described as �a major wake-up call�.
At the Santiago Bernabeu, Bale broke the deadlock with a smart half-volley, which was briefly cancelled out by Leganes� Guido Carrillo, who converted his own spot-kick to ensure Thibaut Courtois� first Madrid contribution was to pick the ball out of his own net.
Rejuvenated under new coach Julen Lopetegui and, perhaps, liberated by Cristiano Ronaldo�s departure, Bale and Benzema impressed again. Bale has now scored three times and Benzema four from the first three La Liga games of the season.
Together with Asensio, Real may be about to discover a new attacking trio of untouchables, even if Lopetegui rejected the idea afterwards.
�The word untouchable does not exist in football,� Lopetegui said.
�The goals were down to the whole team.� Real have also taken maximum points from their opening three fixtures in contrast to the same point last season when they were already five behind Barcelona.
Leganes� underwhelming start under new boss Mauricio Pellegrino continues. They are yet to post a victory.
Keylor Navas was named last season�s best goalkeeper by UEFA on Thursday but was only deemed second choice here by Lopetegui, who handed Courtois his debut after joining from Chelsea earlier this month.
�He has wished me a lot of luck, we get on very well,� Courtois said of Navas. � AFP