Real Madrid took another step towards its first La Liga title in three years by beating free-falling Alaves 2-0 at home on Friday.

Real was missing three of their first-choice defenders as captain Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal were suspended and Marcelo was injured but got off to a comfortable start as Karim Benzema converted from the spot in the 11th minute.

It was another VAR decision that resulted in a penalty for the host after full-back Ferland Mendy was brought down by Ximo Navarro inside the box.

La Liga highlights: Real Madrid keeps top spot with 2-0 win over Alaves  

Benzema turned provider in the 50th minute when he escaped an off-side trap from Alaves and squared it off for Marco Asensio to finish with a simple tap-in.

Asensio and Rodrygo came close to scoring the third goal for Real but were denied by some superb goalkeeping from Alaves custodian Roberto Jimenez.

Real moved on to 80 points, restoring its four-point lead over second-placed Barcelona and needs five more from three remaining games to seal the title. Alaves remains perilously close to the relegation zone in 17th, three points above Mallorca.

Earlier in the day, Granada beat Real Sociedad 3-2 to climb up to ninth the table.