MADRID: Real Madrid’s Rodrygo struck twice and Jude Bellingham was also on target as the visitors enjoyed a 3-0 win at lowly Cadiz in LaLiga to move provisionally top of the standings.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are now on 35 points, one clear of second-placed Girona who host Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

Atletico Madrid are third, having also played a game less than Real, level on 31 points with Barcelona, who slipped to fourth after a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

“It’s an important moment in the season,” Ancelotti told a news conference. “We have some very important games until Christmas. Today’s game gives me a lot of confidence for the next matches.

“So far this season we have done very well, the team has always been competitive, we have won a lot of games.

The injuries on international duty of France midfielder Eduardo Camavinga and Brazil forward Vinicius Jr did not seem to affect Real, who went ahead after 14 minutes when Rodrygo cut into the area and fired a superb shot into the top right corner.

“Sometimes the difficulties can be an extra motivation and the players have understood that very well,” Ancelotti said.

“All the injuries we have are of very important players, but we have managed well and the team has been very good on the pitch”.

Brazilian winger Rodrygo got his second goal in the 64th minute with another fine shot after finding space in the box before Bellingham sealed the win 10 minutes later with his 11th league goal of the season.

“Rodrygo made the difference in today’s game, he had a good game with a good attitude, we are happy,” Real’s Italian manager added.

“Bellingham is fine. His shoulder still hurts but he is playing with protection and he is fine. He played a very good game today,” said Ancelotti referring to the England midfielder who missed his country’s last two Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Real next host Italian champions Napoli in their Champions League Group C clash on Wednesday, with the Spanish giants already assured of a spot in the knockout stages.