Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid slipped up against Rayo Vallecano but had no such difficulties against Cadiz in Thursday’s LaLiga clash.
Toni Kroos scored a superb volley and assisted another goal as Real Madrid moved within two points of LaLiga leaders Barcelona by beating Cadiz 2-1 in their final match before the World Cup break.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side suffered their first defeat of the top-flight season at Rayo Vallecano on Monday but returned to winning ways with a much improved performance at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Eder Militao opened the scoring with a first-half header from Kroos’ cross on Thursday, marking the centre-back’s second goal in as many league games.
Kroos’ emphatic second-half strike meant Lucas Perez’s late goal proved irrelevant as Madrid closed the gap on Barca.
Alfonso Espino gave Madrid an early scare when his long-range strike hit the top of the bar before Federico Valverde fired just wide at the other end.
A frantic first half continued with tension at both ends before Militao headed Toni Kroos’ left-wing cross into the bottom right corner five minutes before half-time.
Thibaut Courtois denied Ruben Sobrin a rare Cádiz chance after the break, before Kroos fired stylishly into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area.
Luka Modric inexplicably missed an open goal to add late in the period and was punished when Perez pounced on a spilled Courtois tackle, though Madrid held on for victory.