Ruth­less Madrid dis­man­tle Getafe

The Punch - - SPORTS -

Real Madrid made an im­pres­sive start to the year as they picked apart a ro­bust Getafe side to win 3-0 in La Liga on Satur­day.

Raphael Varane was the in­sti­ga­tor of two goals at the Coli­seum Al­fonso Perez, first pres­sur­ing Getafe David So­ria into a missed punch and an own-goal be­fore him­self head­ing home a cross from Toni Kroos.

Luka Mo­dric then added a third deep into in­jury-time af­ter a bril­liant first-time pass by Gareth Bale had set Madrid away on the counter-at­tack. Vic­tory sends Zine­dine Zi­dane's side top of the ta­ble briefly at least, one point above Barcelona, who play later on Satur­day against Cata­lan ri­vals Es­panyol.

Getafe re­main sev­enth and very much in the race for Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion. An­other ex­cel­lent sea­son un­der coach Jose Bordalas is prov­ing last year's re­mark­able top-four chal­lenge was far from a fluke.

But their usu­ally stub­born de­fence was overly-gen­er­ous as So­ria's mis­take and then a free header put Madrid in charge be­fore Mo­dric com­plete what was, in the end, a com­fort­able win.

With­out ei­ther Ser­gio Ramos, who was sus­pended, or Eden Haz­ard, who con­tin­ues to nurse an an­kle in­jury, this looked an awk­ward fix­ture for Zi­dane's team on the back of a two-week win­ter break.

In­stead, they keep the pres­sure on Barcelona be­fore trav­el­ling to Saudi Ara­bia next week, where they could be set for a Cla­sico fi­nal in the Span­ish Su­per Cup, with Va­len­cia up first on Wed­nes­day in the last four.

Haz­ard will stay at home af­ter Zi­dane con­firmed on Fri­day the Bel­gian will not re­turn un­til later this month at the ear­li­est.

•Zi­dane

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