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Summary

  1. Benzema taps in, then Ronaldo powers in header
  2. Madrid take advantage of Barcelona slip
  3. Second-placed Barca beaten by Malaga on Saturday
  4. Ancelotti wins in 100th competitive Real match

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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Time for us to wave farewell. So Real Madrid's win means Barcelona are well behind in the La Liga title race, but we will be back on Tuesday to see if the Catalan giants can bounce back in the Champions League. That's when they jump on the private plane and fly north to England, where they face Manchester City in the last-16 tie. Do. Not. Miss. It. Adios!

Stat attack

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Opta Jose: 5 - Cristiano has scored more headed goals in La Liga this season than any other player.

Italian Serie A

Before we bring this European jaunt to an end, let's do a quick detour over to Italy.

Today's late Serie A game saw on-loan Chelsea midfielder Mohamed Salah give Fiorentina an 85th minute lead over Torino, only for the visitors to level two minutes later when Giuseppe Vives pounced on a defensive slip-up.

That mean Fiorentina, who harbour European ambitions of their own again next season, drop to fifth after the weekend's matches.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti
Getty Images

So Carlo Ancelotti is toasting another win in his 100th competitive match as Real Madrid boss. That makes him the most successful Los Blancos boss in his first century, a 78% win rate surpassing the previous best set by Jose Mourinho. I'd imagine there is a rather grumpy Portuguese football manager in south-west London right now...

Ronaldo moves up to third

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo
BBC

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Sulaimon Adelekan: Quote me anywhere, this Real Madrid team will win the La Liga and retain the Champions League.

Race for the title

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid
BBC

FULL-TIME

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

I think that goes under the 'Job Done' file. Real Madrid dominated from the first whistle and even though they were scruffy at times in the final third, fully deserved a routine win. They are now four points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona. Although there is the small matter of El Clasico next month....

FULL-TIME

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Madrid substitute Jese barely breaks stride before referee Ignacio Iglesias toots his whistle for the final time this evening. But he won't care - his team earn a vital win in the Spanish title race.

SUBSTITUTION

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

These Elche fans are a sporting bunch - there is even a ripple of applause for Karim Benzema. The France striker jogs off to tap the hand of Jese, who will play the final few seconds.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

I don't think Elche have touched the ball in the last 90 seconds or so. Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal tries to pick out Cristiano Ronaldo at the near post, but home keeper Tyton is alert to beat him to the ball.

INJURY TIME

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Keep ball time for Real Madrid as they run down the clock. Three minutes of stoppage time for Elche to endure.

SUBSTITUTION

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Standing ovation for Real Madrid attacking midfielder Isco as he leaves the field. Not often you see that sort of reception from a home crowd. The Spain international, one of Madrid's most outstanding performers this season, is replaced by Alvaro Arbeloa.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Madrid keeper Iker Casillas has been a virtual bystander for most of this match. So boredom would be one way to explain why he decides to take on the Elche attack in his own box. The veteran Spain keeper almost loses possession but recovers as Elche fail to threaten.

SUBSTITUTION

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Asier Illaramendi nods at Real assistant coach Paul Clement. He understands what he has got to do. Which is presumably as simple as not letting Elche mount an unlikely comeback. He replaces recent signing Lucas Silva, who has been very effective in central midfield.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Elche have made all three substitutions, as Real look set to make their first. Big-money midfielder Asier Illarramendi, who can barely get a look in these days, peruses the Madrid tactical book on the touchline.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Still Madrid ping the ball about with ease, their black shirts gliding around the pitch like draughts on a polished checkerboard.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Elche aren't helping themselves mind you. Karim Benzema checks in the right channel before clipping up a cross that the home defence hook clear. But it goes only as far as Toni Kroos, who can't shoot as well as he passes. The ball flies harmlessly over the Elche goal.

FINAL FIFTEEN

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Damage limitation now for Elche as we enter the final 15 minutes. The confidence is flowing their veins of the Madrid players, who are pinging the ball around neatly and with intent.

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid

Madrid are threatening to run up a rugby score now. The away side win a free-kick right on the cusp of the Elche penalty area. A few black shirts stand over the ball, but one man pulls rank. Who? Who do you think? Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal skipper hammers a low shot which flashes past the past - the wrong side of the post as far as Real is concerned.

GOAL

Elche 0-2 Real Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Moments after that decent chance, Cristiano Ronaldo does stick his name on the scoresheet. The Ballon d'Or winner is left unmarked to charge into space and powerfully plant in Isco's left-wing cross with his forehead.

Did someone say he is out of sorts? I'd take him in my Sunday League team...

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid

Panic stations! Elche's defence parts like a receding hairline in the wind as Gareth Bale tries to convert Cristiano Ronaldo's throughball. There's a bit too much pace on the pass though, as the Welshman then beats a home defender to cut back to the Portugal skipper. However, he can't poke in with a scissor kick.

Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

David R. Pollard: Karim Benzema is one of the most underrated footballers in the sport right now, but he knows how to score. Unselfish too.

Net gains for Benzema

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid

Karim Benzema
BBC

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid

Elche lurch forward on a half-hearted attack, but menacing Madrid centre-back Pepe is lurking in the right place to mop up a hopeful ball forward.

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid

Not much of a reaction from Elche. Instead it is Real Madrid who look likeliest to score another, Cristiano Ronaldo's deflected punt from distance is gobbled up by the home keeper.

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Madrid have the bit between their teeth now. Recent signing Lucas Silva wins a free-kick on the left, but the delivery cannot pick out a Madrid head waiting in the packed penalty box.

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Sage in Edinburgh: Re Ross in Maidstone - put your toys back in the pram and suck on some reality for a change. Sorry but have to break it to you. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas didn't come through Chelsea's youth system, neither did Angel Di Maria or Daley Blind come through at United's or Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure at City's. Looking at the top-four English clubs at the moment, they seem to be more than happy to reap the rewards of their 'brought in' talent. Real Madrid bully no-one, they just offer stupid money!

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid

Not the prettiest of Madrid goals this season - but it could be one of the most vital. Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti clenches his fist in joy as his side look on course to go four points clear of Barcelona.

GOAL

Elche 0-1 Real Madrid - Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema
AP

Madrid make the breakthrough! Cristiano Ronaldo is the instigator, storming down the left before poking into the centre of the six-yard box. A desperate sliding challenge from Elche defender Lomban hits his own keeper, falling into the grateful path of Karim Benzema who taps in.

Elche 0-0 Real Madrid

Thankfully Gareth Bale is relatively unscathed as he clambers to back to his feet. Elche are not punished further though, as the set-piece drifts over every Madrid head in the box.

YELLOW CARD

Elche 0-0 Real Madrid

Ooof! Now I'm wincing. Gareth Bale is cleaned out by a flying kick by Elche's Aaron Niguez on the corner of the penalty box - that was more Tekken than Fifa. The referee reaches for his pocket - and pulls out a yellow card. Lucky boy. Could have been red.

Elche 0-0 Real Madrid

Karim Benzema
Getty Images

Worrying moment for Real Madrid. Karim Benzema drops to the turf, wincing like he has just had a bag of spanners dropped on his foot. Elche right-back Damian Suarez is the culprit, scraping his studs over the France striker's right boot.

Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

Bentley Baxter: What on earth do managers have to do these days to keep their jobs? Eighth not enough for Sam Allardyce. First not enough for Carlo Ancelotti. Madness.

Elche 0-0 Real Madrid

First chance goes to Elche! Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas, who had as comfortable a first half as he has enjoyed in any of his previous 499 games, is needed to push out Aaron Niguez's low cross-shot.

KICK-OFF

Elche 0-0 Real Madrid

HALF-TIME

Fiorentina 0-0 Torino

Italian Serie A

Fiorentina Torino
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Across the Mediterranean, tonight's Serie A clash between Fiorentina and Torino is goalless at half-time. However, Khouma Babacar missed a 10th-minute penalty for the Viola.

Noel Gallagher's high-flying footballers

Noel Gallagher's Dream Band
BBC

Talking of Zinedine Zidane, the Real Madrid and France legend might be pleased to learn that he has been named

in a fantasy band of footballers by ex-Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher.

Zizou would play lead guitar because "he is a wizard", says Manchester City fan Gallagher, who is appearing as a pundit on Match of the Day 2 later.

Gallagher's fab four also features Patrick Vieira (bass guitar), Mario Balotelli (drums) and frontman George Best.

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Sam in Swansea: Real Madrid, depending on your opinion, are the biggest club in the world. But surely Florentino Perez, a hugely successful businessman is clever enough to see the benefits of stability? Zinedine Zidane is being touted as the next manager - a man whose coaching experience extends to a few games in charge of their B-team...

Madrid meltdown for Mourinho?

Elche 0-0 Real Madrid

Amid the rumours that Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will not be offered another Bernabeu deal, the name of Jose Mourinho has been thrown into the mix as a potential replacement.

However, the self-proclaimed Special One could not handle the pressure as manager of the Spanish giants,

claims ex-Real president Ramon Calderon.

The Chelsea boss managed Real from 2010-13, winning La Liga in 2012 and the Copa del Rey in 2011, before leaving for Stamford Bridge.

"To be a manager of Real Madrid is really, really difficult," Calderon told BBC World Service. "See what happened to Mourinho. He is someone who is used to coping with pressure and he couldn't."