Real Madrid go back to La Liga summit with victory over Leganes


Alvaro Morata stole the headlines with a hat-trick to add to James Rodriguez's 15th-minute opener for Zinedine Zidane's side, who went two points clear at the league summit with a game in hand on second-placed Barcelona.

The hosts briefly threatened a comeback with replies from Gabriel and Luciano in the space of two minutes just after the half-hour mark, but Morata's third goal early in the second half killed them off.

The team from the southern outskirts of the capital made Los Blancos work for their fifth successive league win, and the first half was particularly enthralling.

After Morata dragged a left-footed shot wide of the right post in the third minute and Luciano fizzed an effort to the right of the target from distance at the other end six minutes later, Real seemingly took command by scoring three times in the space of eight minutes.

Rodriguez broke the deadlock on the quarter-hour mark with a simple tap-in from Marco Asensio's cross following a surging run from the Spaniard that started on the halfway line.

Morata was inches away from doubling their lead three minutes later with a low shot that hit the post, but he found the back of the net moments later from a corner as he nodded Nacho's flick-on at the near post past Iago Herrerin.

The Spanish forward got on the scoresheet again five minutes later when he picked put the bottom-right corner of the goal from inside the area after being played in by Mateo Kovacic.

The Pepineros appeared to be down and out, but they quickly dragged themselves together and hit back through Gabriel in the 32nd minute, the Brazilian netting from close range after Diego Rico's cross had deflected into his path.

Suddenly their tails were up and the hosts pulled another goal back just two minutes later as Luciano pounced at the far post following Dimitris Siovas' downward header from a corner.

But any hopes of a comeback were dashed by Real just three minutes into the second half, with Morata completing his three-goal haul from a free-kick that he headed past the keeper via a wicked deflection off Martin Mantovani.

The remainder of the match produced few clear-cut chances, with Leganes' best opportunities seeing Luciano shoot wide from distance and Unai Bustinza firing an effort across the face of goal.

Lucas Vazquez was denied at the death by Herrerin, who kept out the striker's shot with his feet.