Real Madrid completed an impressive week by beating La Liga table-toppers Atletico Madrid to back up the victories over Borussia Monchengladbach and Sevilla.
Defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on December 1 left Zinedine Zidane fighting for his job after a poor run of form, but the last three games have seen the Spanish champions complete a stunning turnaround, easing the pressure on the Frenchman.
Dani Carvajal returned to the Real Madrid starting lineup, but Zidane kept Lucas Vazquez in his team, with the 29-year-old deployed on the right wing having filled in at right back over the last few weeks.
Casemiro gave the defending champions the lead after 15 minutes, heading home a corner kick delivery from Toni Kroos after losing his man inside the six-yard box, marking the first time Atleti have trailed in a league game this season.
Diego Simeone made three changes for the start of the season half, but Real Madrid doubled their advantage when Carvajal’s powerful strike bounced into the net off the back of the luckless Jan Oblak.
Atletico Madrid’s first league defeat of the season saw Real Madrid close the gap on their city rivals to just three points, although Simeone’s side still hold a game in-hand at the top of La Liga.