Cristiano Ronaldo continued his sensational form with two goals to help Real Madrid scrape past Eibar.
He has now scored 17 goals in all competitions in his last 10 matches and is now up to 18 La Liga goals after making a slow start to the season. When he drops below his career-long goal-a-game average in the first half of a season, he just moves up a gear and starts averaging almost two-goals-a-game in the second half.
There was even a superb piece of skill to control a long forward pass with his own back in the second half, guiding the ball the other side of his marker. On this form – be it in the Parc des Princes or in Eibar’s 6,700 capacity Estadio Municipal de Ipura – he cannot be stopped.
Eibar are pushing for a European place this season – despite the fact that their 45m euros budget is dwarfed by most of their rivals – and their early intensity was impressive. If PSG had started like this in midweek they might have had a chance.
No team robs more balls in midfield or more aerial duels than Eibar. They got behind Madrid early on and Kike Garcia forced Keylor Navas to save at full stretch after he ran on to Tkashi Inui’s back-heel.
Marcelo played a great pass over the top for Gareth Bale to run on to. Back in the starting line-up he tried to slide it through the keeper Marko Dmitrovic’s legs, but he was up to the task to make the save. The rebound rolled to Ronaldo but he reacted a split second too late and the ball was scooped clear.
With Madrid’s next attack on 28 minutes, Ronaldo responded in good time and made it 1-0. His chest control and first-time finish past Dmitrovic was lethal but Modric’s contribution as architect with two brilliant touches was also huge. The first touch was to win the ball in midfield and the second to curl it into Ronaldo’s path with the outside of his right boot.
Ronaldo could have scored again just before half time but Dmitrovic saved brilliantly from his shot after he brought down Marcelo’s long pass.
It had been a satisfactory first half for Madrid although they had lost Raphael Varane with a head injury. He clashed with Garcia and finished up with an egg-shaped lump on his forehead. Nacho came on.
Eibar’s players were also in the wars and Ivan Ramis needed treatment for a knee problem. The former Wigan centre back recovered and it was his header that put Eibar level five minutes into the second half.
Ronaldo was not finished, however. And he would head in the winner with five minutes left after Modric played Dani Carvajal in and he crossed from the right.
Ronaldo’s header hit the back of the net with such force that it rolled straight back out again. He’s unstoppable at the moment and Madrid are unbeatable as a result of it.