Ruthless Madrid dismantle Getafe
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.