Ronaldo starred from that moment forward, scoring four times - including two from the spot - to help Madrid claim all the points in an impressive attacking display.
Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two La Liga rivals.
On target: 12
On target: 3
Was the result fair?
In truth, Real Madrid deserved to run out comfortable winners this evening. Elche must be credited for their willingness to commit numbers forward, especially in the first period, but ultimately that was their downfall. It is not much of a surprise when teams come to the Bernabeu and stick 10 players behind the ball, but Elche came to play football. That paid dividends in the early moments as they deservedly took the lead, but they struggled from that moment forward as Los Blancos ran riot due to their quality in the final third. It might have been seven or eight had the home side not dropped the tempo in the second period, but they were saving energy for their next match. It was an incredibly entertaining affair at the Bernabeu, with Elche coming up against a team that simply cannot stop scoring at the moment.
Real Madrid's performance
It has been an indifferent start to the season for Los Blancos, with two defeats already in the league. Things are now looking up for the capital outfit, however, who have now won their last three in all competitions, scoring 18 times in the process. Ronaldo was back to his best this evening, while Bale was also extremely effective in a more central position. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti also handed starts to the likes of Isco and Asier Illarramendi, with the former putting in another brilliant performance from an advanced midfield position. Ancelotti also handed a debut to Keylor Navas on a night where the Italian was able to rest a number of his key players. Defensively there were a few nervy moments, especially on the counter attack in the first period, but Madrid had control of the match for long spells. It was another step in the right direction.
As touched upon, Elche must be credited for their willingness to attack the hosts this evening, but they simply left far too much space in defensive areas. There is no question that they deserved to take the lead after a bright start, but it came from a controversial penalty. Elche really needed to hold onto their lead for at least 10 or so minutes, but Bale equalised five minutes later as the tide began to turn. Madrid added two more in the first period to take a 3-1 lead into the break and in truth, Elche really struggled in the second 45 minutes. They can take plenty of positives from their performance this evening, but a little bit more care during key periods of the match could have made it a very different fixture. There are goals in their side, but defensively they do give teams chances. That said, how they fare this season was never going to depend on their results at places such as the Bernabeu.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Cristiano Ronaldo: In truth, this was not a difficult decision. Ronaldo took his tally to seven goals in his last two league games with four strikes this evening. Two were from the penalty spot, but his second was from a brilliant header and his last courtesy of a smart finish from a Bale through ball. It has not been the ideal start to the season for Ronaldo, with injuries and off-the-field speculation, but he was returned to his best on the pitch. In total, he has now scored 264 goals in 254 games for Los Blancos since arriving from Manchester United. It is just a stunning record.
In truth, referee Clos Gomez had an absolute stinker this evening. The Spaniard awarded three penalties, two of which were extremely controversial. Elche were handed the first when Ronaldo made contact with Pedro Mosquera inside the box, but it was a clearance from the attacker, who made very little contact on the Spaniard. Madrid also won a penalty in the first period, with Mosquera deemed to have felled Marcelo. The second decision was possibly even worse than the first, with Marcelo tumbling a couple of yards away from the actual challenge. Both decisions were simply awful.
As mentioned above, referee Gomez made two poor, poor decisions this evening. The third penalty, which went to Madrid, was also far from clear-cut, with Mario Pasalic deemed to have brought Ronaldo to the ground, but again, the contact was minimal. Gomez issued just the three yellow cards, but he might have sent Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal from the field after the Spaniard felled Coro in the early stages. For the most part, Gomez allowed the match to flow, but it is difficult to look past the major decisions that he simply got wrong.
Real Madrid: Los Blancos will attempt to rack up three league wins on the bounce when they make the difficult trip to Villarreal on Saturday afternoon.
Elche: Elche, meanwhile, host high-flying Celta Vigo on Friday evening.