Not the best of performances from Real Madrid who were mostly pinned back by an adventurous Villarreal side, but first half goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo were enough for them to pick up another league win.

Iker Casillas got the start and finished with five saves in a very good performance, allowing the counter attacking speed and qualities of his teammates to shine through.

Luka Modric didn’t score on a counter attack, but his 32nd minute goal came during Real Madrid’s best spell in the match, as a fine pass by Toni Kroos put the Croatian wide open on the edge of the box. Modric didn’t wait and immediately took advantage of bad goalkeeping positioning to give Real Madrid the lead.

After a couple of Villarreal opportunities that didn’t yield much, a brilliant counter attack beginning with James Rodriguez, improving in every match, sent Karim Benzema on a long ball to a one on one. The Frenchman drew the defense wide of the box, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to move in unmarked, receive the pass and with one touch end the match before the half time whistle.

Real Madrid are bouncing back. The defense isn’t making too many mistakes and no panic came with Villarreal controlling the match. They’re still a few points behind Barcelona, but that obviously can change very quickly.

As for Ronaldo, his scoring form continues to be scary. He didn’t set a new record with three consecutive league hat tricks, but right now, there isn’t a single player on the planet in better scoring form.

Real Madrid beat Villarreal