Real maintain momentum with Villarreal win
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Real Madrid eased to a comfortable 3-0 win against Villarreal in their Primera Division clash thanks to a breathtaking first-half performance at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema scored Real's first in the seventh minute before Kaka and Angel Di Maria found the back of the net as Jose Mourinho's side completely overran Villarreal in a dominant opening period.

The win means the nine-time European champions have now taken their tally of home wins under Mourinho to 30 from 35 games and they moved into second in the overall standings, one point behind leaders Levante. Villarreal slipped two places into 18th and into the relegation zone.

The game started at a blistering pace and Real had a goal ruled out almost immediately when Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kick found Sergio Ramos in the area but the defender's strike was chalked off for offside. Di Maria then clipped the ball in towards Benzema seconds later but his shot just went wide.

But Benzema did open the scoring in the fifth minute, when the visitors failed to deal with Real's scorching pace. Di Maria fired an inch-perfect long pass from the right and picked out the onrushing striker in the area, and he beat the last man and lobbed his shot over Diego Lopez.

Ronaldo was unlucky to double Real's lead a minute later when he whipped a shot across the face of Lopez's goal as the hosts dominated both territory and possession. However, Kaka did add the second in the 11th minute after some quick passing at the edge of the box set up the Brazilian who coolly fired low past Lopez.

Some stunning skill from Marcelo almost set Benzema up for his second in the 25th minute, but Real found their third on the half-hour after a fantastic counter-attacking move which resulted in Di Maria calmly slotting the ball past Lopez.

Villarreal did have some chances but they rarely troubled Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

After the break, Xabi Alonso fired a testing free-kick into the area as Real picked up where they left off, but Ronaldo was flagged offside and a chance went begging.

But then Villarreal started to up the pace and managed to keep Real's potent attacking threat under wraps as Mourinho resisted resting key players ahead of the weekend game against Real Sociedad until well into the second-half.

Real lost a little momentum as the second-half progressed, but Villarreal were unable to break down a rock-solid defence that has only conceded four goals in its last 10 games in all competitions.