Real Madrid beat Getafe 5-1 to move within a point of Barcelona in La Liga. Goals from Karim Benzema, Isco, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo saw the All-Whites continue their winning form from midweek. Although Pablo Sarabia got one back for the home side, it wasn’t enough to deny Zinedine Zidane’s side all three points.
Getafe: Guaita, Damian, Vergini, Vigaray, Pereira, Rodriguez, Lacen, Leon, Sarabia, Alvaro, Stefa
Real Madrid: Navas, Marcelo, Pepe, Varane, Carvajal, Kroos, Isco, James, Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema
Zidane started with a very attacking lineup with Isco, Kroos and James starting in midfield behind the trio of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema. With Getafe at the bottom of the La Liga table, new boss Juan Eduardo Esnaider had it all to do to get them out of the relegation zone. A former Real and Atletico man himself, he was no stranger to Zidane – the two were once teammates at Juventus.
Real Madrid make quick work of Getafe in first half
Los Blancos started the stronger of the two sides with James Rodriguez getting a shot off in the very first minute. But Alvaro Pereira came to Getafe’s rescue with a sliding tackle to make the block. Ronaldo also came close to opening the scoring, hitting the post after he beat Guaita.
Getafe were barely able to get out of their own half, with last-ditch defending the only tactic keeping them in the game. Alvaro had to be replaced after he was unable to continue following an injury he suffered during the block tackle on James.
However, it was Karim Benzema who gave Real Madrid the lead in the 29th minute. The French striker had a point to prove after he was left out of the Euro 2016 squad and got on the end of a lovely lob from James to sweep it home.
Real Madrid soon doubled the lead through Isco after he initiated and finished off a counter-attack. The Spaniard picked up the ball near the half-line and ran down the right, sliding a ball to Benzema in the middle. As a defender came out to deal with the striker, Benzema slid the ball through to Isco and he finished with the outside of his boot to make it 2-0.
Real Madrid finish the job in the second half
The second 45 minutes saw Real Madrid attacking the opposite end where the wet field caused a number of problems. James Rodriguez almost lost his footing at one point when sprinting down the left flank with water puddles halting his progress.
The visitors did not take long to get a third goal as Gareth Bale got on the end of a Benzema pass to scamper down the right flank. The Welsh forward took two touches to control the ball as he entered the box and then curled it past the goalkeeper into the bottom corner with a sublime left-footed effort to make it 3-0 to Zidane's side.
With the scoreline reading 3-0, Zidane rang in the substitutions. Dani Carvajal was replaced by Nacho Fernandez. Bale and Benzema were also hooked off within minutes of each other as Lucas Vazquez and Jese Rodriguez came on.
Getafe had a good chance to get a goal back when Marcelo’s back-pass inside the box was held by Navas in a scramble to clear the ball. The referee awarded the home side an indirect free-kick at the edge of the six-yard box but Keylor Navas bravely charged off his line to block a rocket of a shot to keep his clean sheet hopes alive.
But Getafe finally got a goal back through former Castilla man Pablo Sarabia. A rare Getafe attack saw the 23-year-old get into the box on the left and whip a shot past a diving Navas into the top corner to make it 1-3.
However, Real Madrid struck back again in the 88th minute as Vazquez squared a ball to James Rodriguez who controlled the ball, dummied it and put the ball into the corner to restore their three-goal cushion.
Cristiano Ronaldo finally got his goal in stoppage time thanks to Jese. Although the Portuguese forward was coming back from an offside position, Jese ran through the middle to collect a ball and then squared it to Ronaldo, now in an onside position, to score into an empty net. That was the last bit of action as Real Madrid won 5-1 to close the gap on Barcelona.