Video: Getafe 1-5 Real Madrid – Bale scores as title race hots up

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Real Madrid smashed bottom-of-the-table Getafe 5-1 at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez this afternoon to reduce Barcelona’s lead to a single point in the title race.

First half goals from Benzema and Isco, followed by second half strikes from Bale, Rodriguez, and Ronaldo sealed the win.

Zinedine Zidane made three changes to the side that beat Wolfsburg 3-2 on aggregate on Tuesday. Raphael Varane replaced Sergio Ramos in defence, with Isco and James Rodriguez stepping into the midfield in place of Luka Modric and Casemiro.

Barcelona’s poor recent form meant Madrid went into the game on a high, just four points behind the leaders and with a Champions League semi-final place already booked. They wasted no time in showing their confidence, as Ronaldo cut the ball back to Rodriguez on the edge of the area, but Getafe keeper Guaita was equal to his clever shot.

Predictably, the pressure became relentless. Madrid had a massive opportunity in the 13th minute when a defensive error allowed Rodriguez to cross for Ronaldo – but a heroic last-ditch challenge from Yoda kept cleared the danger.

Ronaldo hit the post three minutes later, and it was quickly becoming apparent that a goal wouldn’t be far away.

It arrived in the 29th minute. James Rodriguez whipped in an inch-perfect from the right wing, and Benzema beat the offside trap to stroke the ball into the bottom corner.

They doubled their lead ten minutes later. Isco and Benzema combined beautifully on the flank, with the former eventually being released behind the defence and scoring a relatively straightforward chance.

Moments after the break it was 3-0, and the game was in danger of becoming a whitewash. This time Gareth Bale was the scorer, netting his 16th goal of the season. His speed was the difference, as he powered away from the Getafe defenders to give himself a one-on-one chance.

Getafe’s best chance of the half so far came just before the 70th minute. Pablo Sarabia smashed a bobbling ball at goal from close range, but Keylor Navas – who was slightly off-balance – managed to stick out a hand to prevent it from hitting the net.

The same player grabbed Getafe’s only goal ten minutes later as he lashed a left footed effort into the top corner from from more than 25 yards out. It might have taken a slight deflection off Pepe, but it was still a lovely shot.

Sadly for their fans, the club’s resurguence didn’t last long.

Madrid made it 4-1 in the 88th minute thanks to Rodriguez’ calm finish after some clever trickery, and Ronaldo completed the rout as he tapped in Jesse’s pass with the final kick of the game.

The result means Madrid are now just one point behind Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title. They have leapfrogged their city rivals Atletico. Getafe stay bottom, two points adrift of Granada and safety.

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Madrid’s next two games are home to Europa League semi-finalists on Wednesday then away to Rayo Vallecano next weekend.

Getafe’s next match sees them travel to Real Sociedad on Thursday.

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