As Zinedine Zidane’s side began their revival with a 3-1 win over the 10-man Athletic Club, Karim Benzema bagged a second-half brace for Real Madrid.
In Saturday’s derby, Zidane made only one change to the side that beat Atletico Madrid, with Fede Valverde coming in for the suspended Casemiro, despite this being the fourth match in 10 days for Real Madrid.
The visitors started brightly but were reduced to 10 players after just 13 minutes when Raul Garcia was given a second yellow card for a foolish challenge to Toni Kroos on the outside of the opposition net.
At the end of the first half, when Toni Kroos lashed home a finish from the outside of the box to hand the advantage to Real Madrid, Athletic Club did well to keep things tight at the back until stoppage time.
Ander Capa restored parity for the 10-man Athletic Club seven minutes into the second half, scuffing a shot into the back of the Real Madrid net after Thibaut Courtois’ initial save from close range.
Benzema, however, gave Real Madrid the lead again 16 minutes from the end, getting into the box at the end of a Dani Carvajal cross to power a header home, marking his third goal in his final three appearances.
Courtois made a big save to prevent Mikel Vesga from stopping time before Real Madrid opened up the pitch on the counter strike to score the points for a third goal as Benzema scored with a reverse finish.