Real Madrid star Isco making 'every minute count'

Carvajal received a pass from Benzema on the right and cut inside to send the ball bouncing back to the Frenchman who lashed it into the net.

Madrid's victory came with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Keylor Navas and James Rodriguez all rested, while Casemiro was suspended.

Entering with a two-point cushion over Barca in the standings, Real extended its lead to five points temporarily with Barca playing later on Sunday. Real lead the standings on 68 points although second-placed champions Barcelona, who have 63 also from 28 games, can peg them back when they visit Granada later on Sunday. On the other end, Alaves is in the 10th position with 40 points. He started playmaker Isco in the midfield three behind his first choice attacking trio of Gareth Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid's Nacho, center, beats Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco, left, as he scores a goal during a Spain's La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Alaves at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 2, 2017.

It was nearly two for Madrid on the stroke of half-time when Danilo charged into the box and delivered a square pass that found Gareth Bale in his stride, but the Wales forward's effort trickled agonisingly wide.

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Alaves could be without Theo Hernandez and Ruben Sobrino, who are both nursing injuries.

Edgar Mendez missed the second of those chances to draw level when he found himself unmarked in acres of space at the far post.

But a late flurry saw Madrid seal victory with a more flattering scoreline.

Isco scored Madrid's second goal with a powerful finish five minutes from time - his fifth strike in his last six league starts - and had a season-high 101 touches in an influential performance.

There was still time for Nacho Fernandez to add a third in the 88th minute, heading home the rebound from close range after Bale's free kick had hit the crossbar.

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