Cristiano Ronaldo dedicated his match-winning show to the late Eusebio as he scored the 400th goal of his Real Madrid career in a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo to cut the gap at the top of La Liga to five points.
The pressure was on Real with leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid having won their first matches of the year.
However, with Ronaldo unusually quiet and record signing Gareth Bale only fit enough for the bench Real were frustrated by a Celta side who had several chances to score before Karim Benzema broke the deadlock midway through the second half.
Ronaldo poked in Real’s second after 82 minutes and then thumped in his second of the night from substitute Bale’s cross for his 400th career goal.
“It was not a good performance and we need to learn how to be tighter at the back,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
“We lacked balance as we had a lot of players going forward and were open to the counter-attack.
“Celta defended deeply and it wasn’t easy but we should have been more balanced when we pressed.”
Victory kept Real in pursuit of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid who are on 49 points after beating Elche and Malaga respectively.