Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga by comfortably beating fourth-placed Villarreal at the Bernabeu.
Striker Karim Benzema instinctively headed Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo’s parry back into an empty net to give Real a 1-0 lead at the break.
Lucas Vazquez drilled in a low second, before Luka Modric slid in to wrap up Real’s eighth straight La Liga win.
Third-placed Real are a point behind the top two with four games left.
But there was a late concern for coach Zinedine Zidane when Cristiano Ronaldo limped off in injury-time.