Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice while Gareth Bale and French striker Karim Benzema scored the other as Madrid saw off Alaves to move within four points of second place over the arch-rivals Athletico Madrid.

The current La Liga champions dominated the comfortable win with Ronaldo eventually breaking the deadlock just before halftime, taking full advantage of a Benzema back heel assist. Zinedine Zidane reunited the ‘BBC’ - Bale, Benzema and Cristiano, but not as a front three. The manager instead turned to a traditional 4-4-2 formation with flying wingers, Bale on the left and Lucas Vazquez on the right.

Benzema set up Ronaldo for the first goal with a silky back heel pass inside the box and then he played the Welshman Gareth Bale in for the second goal.

As Madrid dominated the game, Ronaldo buried the third goal in the sixty-first minute, with sublime assistance from Vazquez.

With Bale played on the left, the Welshman was given defensive responsibilities and it helped the team in Alaves’s half. Madrid sealed the game 4-0, with Benzema scoring in the form of a penalty kick just before regulation time.

However, the surprising absence from the squad of Spaniard Marco Asensio continues, since his exclusion from the Champions League fixture, earlier in the season against Apoel Nicosia. Asensio was not able to feature in the game, owing to an infected pimple. Reports suggested the Spaniard missed the game after removing one of his wisdom teeth.

With this brace, Ronaldo’s tally of his La Liga goals went to 300, making him the all-time highest goal scorer for Real Madrid in La Liga. The 33-year-old Portuguese achieved this feat 41 matches quicker than Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid will travel to Espanyol, for their next La Liga fixture, before playing Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.