It was a comfortable victory for Real Madrid. After the side was held to a 3-3 draw at Legia Warsaw in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Zinedine Zidane's side returned to winning ways by beating Leganes 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The result means Los Blancos stay on top of La Liga, while there was more good news as Luka Modric made his comeback to big cheers following a month on the sidelines. But in a dull midday match that never really got going, Gareth Bale produced Madrid's most memorable moments as Cristiano Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure once again.
Usually rampant against smaller sides like Leganes, Ronaldo attempted only three shots in the entire match - not including an offside effort that he blasted over the bar when clean through. Although he hit a hat trick last weekend at Alaves, things are still not happening quite how he would like right now and his only attempts in this one were from long range.
At one point in the first half, he was fouled on the left wing and referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz played the advantage, allowing Madrid to continue its attack. That was a smart decision from the official, but Ronaldo stayed on the turf, gesturing angrily for play to be brought back and, when he got up and the ball came his way, he stopped and pointed to his ankle instead of carrying on.
He was ultimately booked for protesting and play was stopped amid jeers from the home crowd - mainly for the official, but some seemingly for his petulant reaction which had halted an opportunity to attack with the score still at 0-0.
Clearly missing Modric, Madrid's midfield may have been guilty at times of failing to spot Ronaldo's runs. But while the Portuguese struggled and held his arms aloft as play passed him by, Bale was involved much more.
The Welshman scored a stunner in Warsaw on Wednesday and was easily the brightest of Madrid's players in the first half against Leganes, tracking back to help out in defense, working hard in midfield and looking lively in attack.
The 27-year-old raced onto a pass from Isco and rounded Leganes goalkeeper Jon Serantes, who got a touch, to open the scoring after 38 minutes from a tight angle. And the Welshman made it 2-0 with the last kick of the first half as he bundled in from close range.
Several times in the second half, he then came close to completing his hat trick. The former Tottenham winger tested Serantes with a header and several shots, once receiving recrimination from Cristiano after he chose to shoot instead of squaring for the Portuguese. He also curled a free kick just past the post late on.
By then, Alvaro Morata had made it 3-0. But Bale's first double since the opening day of the season was the real highlight for Madrid. The Welshman assumed the Ronaldo role on Sunday and, with his teammate still struggling to return to his best, that is just what Zidane's side needs right now.