Ramos leads Real to triumph
Madrid, July 3: Real Madrid took a big step towards winning the Spanish league on Thursday by battling past Getafe to move four points clear of Barcelona, with five games left.
Sergio Ramos’ late penalty proved the difference at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium where Madrid were made to feel uncomfortable by Getafe but dug out a gutsy 1-0 victory worthy of champions.
This was arguably Madrid’s toughest fixture remaining and with a four-point advantage over Barca, as well as the superior head-to-head, the trophy is now firmly within their grasp.
“We have not won anything,” insisted coach Zinedine Zidane.
It is Madrid’s biggest lead over Barcelona since September and their biggest cushion at the top of the table all season.
If they can beat Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday, Madrid could even pull seven points clear before Barca face a difficult game away at inform Villarreal a few hours later.
Barcelona’s 2-2 draw at home to Atletico Madrid
on Tuesday, coming on the back of another 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo last weekend, gave Zidane’s side an opening and they have taken full advantage.
Six wins out six since the restart, with only two goals conceded, has made for a relentless run of form and it would take a monumental collapse now to let Barca back in.
BREMEN IN A GOALLESS STALEMATE IN GERMANY Meanwhile, Werder Bremen’s Bundesliga future remained in doubt after being held to a 0-0 draw by second-division Heidenheim in the first leg of their relegationpromotion playoff.
Bremen, which finished third from bottom in the top division, will have to do without captain Niklas Moisander for the second leg on Monday after he was sent off late with his second yellow card for a poor challenge.
Florian Kohfeldt’s side was relieved not to concede in injury time when Heidenheim defender Timo Beermann headed just wide from Marc Schnatterer’s corner.
It was the closest either side came to scoring in the game.
Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring during their Spanish league match against Getafe at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, Madrid, on Thursday. Madrid won 1-0.