MADRID, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Karim Benzema was able to silence those who have criticized his performances this season with a match-winning display as Real Madrid enjoyed a vital 4-1 win away to Eibar.
Real Madrid went into the game without the suspended Gareth Bale and Alvaro Morata, while Cristiano Ronaldo was rested ahead of next week's Champions League tie away to Napoli.
They were also being questioned after taking only four points from their last three matches while conceding seven goals in the process.
Few had been criticized more than Benzema, who kicked off in the Ipurua Stadium with just five league goals this season, but that tally had risen to seven after just 25 minutes as Madrid took advantage of a jaded looking home side.
His first goal came after 13 minutes when he latched onto Marco Asensio's cross and although Yoel saved his first effort Benzema was able to slide the rebound home.
His second goal came after 25 minutes when he was able to score from close range after the Eibar defense failed to deal with a James free kick.
With Eibar looking a shadow of their usual combative selves, the Frenchman then turned provider with a low cross that James stabbed into the back of the net.
Eibar's only chance was a Sergi Enrique shot which was blocked by Sergio Ramos, while Yoel prevented further Madrid goals with saves from Asensio and Benzema.
The second half didn't see many changes to the script and Benzema had a hand in Madrid's fourth goal with a pass to send Asensio through the offside trap. The youngster passed to James and when his effort hit the post Asensio put the ball into the empty net.
Ruben Pena scored a consolation goal with 20 minutes remaining when he bundled in Pedro Leon's cross from the right, but Madrid's win was never in doubt.