Real Madrid overcame an early blow to return to winning ways in La Liga with a 4-1 victory over Getafe at the Bernabeu. Following last week’s 2-2 draw at Villarreal, it looked like being another tricky evening for Madrid when Angel Lafita’s deflected shot put the visitors a goal up after only five minutes. But Madrid recovered and goal from Pepe and penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo before half-time put them in front, before Isco added a fine third after the break. Ronaldo then scored a second in injury time to get his 208th goal for Real Madrid and take him above Hugo Sanchez into fifth place on the club’s all-time leading scorers list. By that time, Getafe had been reduced to 10 men when Michel was sent off for bringing down Jese when the substitute was clean through on goal.
It turned into a comfortable outing for Madrid, although there was disappointment before kick-off, with Gareth Bale being denied a home debut after suffering a thigh injury in the warm-up. Instead, Isco came into the side and certainly took full advantage. The former Malaga midfielder should also have had an assist to his name, but Karim Benzema somehow missed with a header right in front of goal. The striker again endured a less than stellar performance in front of goal and earned plenty of groans and whistles from the Bernabeu crowd.
Still, it was ultimately a positive day for Madrid, as they got the three points that takes them up to third in the premature La Liga table, two points behind the still perfect Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Carlo Ancelotti and his side were given a scare early on, however. Ronaldo lost possession and appealed for a free-kick, but play was allowed to go on and Lafita received the ball 25 yards from goal before producing a shot that deflected off of Pepe to leave the prone Diego Lopez with no chance to recover.
The lead lasted less than 15 minutes, as Madrid set about their task and quickly got back on level terms. From Angel di Maria’s teasing free-kick to the back post, Ronaldo controlled and fired a shot that Miguel Angel Moya blocked in the Getafe goal but only as far as Pepe, who tapped in from right on the line.
Ronaldo could have made it two from a similar scenario minutes later, but volleyed Di Maria’s free-kick wide of the post. In the 33rd minute the hosts were in front. Ronaldo’s powerful free-kick was blocked by the elbow of Alexis, who jumped with his arms slightly away from his body, although they made no move toward the ball. Still, the penalty was awarded and Ronaldo confidently stepped up to drill it low into the corner.
It should have been 3-1 at the break, but Benzema failed to make clean contact with Daniel Carvajal’s low cross. Instead the third goal would have to wait until the 59th minute. It was a goal that will doubtless have frustrated Getafe coach Luis Garcia Plaza. His side completely switched off to allow Isco to cut in toward the center of the box from a quickly taken free-kick before curling a fine shot into the far corner.
The result could have easily been as emphatic as Madrid’s 6-1 mauling of Galatasaray in midweek. Benzema missed with two clear-cut headed chances, while his replacement Alvaro Morata also dragged a shot wide.
There was frustration for Ronaldo too, who hit a post with a near inch-perfect shot. Yet, with almost the last kick of the game, Ronaldo moved ahead of Sanchez with his 208th goal in extraordinarily just 205 appearances. There Getafe appealed for offside when Sami Khedira received the ball down the right, but the protests were rightly ignored and, from the German’s cross, Ronaldo produced a stylish flick past Moya.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.