Real Madrid moved to within five points of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 home win over Getafe.
Injuries to a number of key figures forced Zinedine Zidane to change system for this match, with former Tranmere Rovers youngster Marvin Park handed his first Liga start in the right wing back position.
Karim Benzema came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half, guiding a header on to the Getafe crossbar from a corner kick. Luka Modric also drew a good save from David Soria with a low drive from outside the box.
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Real Madrid finally found the back of the net on the hour mark when Benzema got on the end of a dangerous Vinicius Junior delivery into the box, heading past Soria who could do nothing to keep it out.
The hosts scored a second just seven minutes later, with Ferland Mendy turning home a Marcelo cross on the stretch to all but secure all three points for the defending Spanish champions.
After Atletico Madrid’s 2-2 draw at home to Celta Vigo on Monday night, this win for Real Madrid sees the defending champions close the gap on their city rivals to five points, although Diego Simeone’s side still have two games in-hand.
TALKING POINT - Real Madrid need more players like Marvin Park
It was always likely that Zidane would look to the youth ranks to make up the numbers for this match such is the number of injuries Real Madrid have suffered of late, but it was still somewhat jarring to see Marvin’s name in the starting lineup. For a man who was once head coach of Real Madrid’s Castilla side, Zidane has a poor record in bringing through youngsters at the club. He needs more players like Marvin to fill out his squad and give him more options. The existence of Real Madrid’s academy must be justified.
Getafe's Colombian forward Cucho Hernandez (L) controls the ball next to Real Madrid's Spanish midfielder Marvin Park
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH - Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Zidane’s tactical changes saw Marcelo deployed in a position he has always wanted to play in. The Brazilian’s role in this Real Madrid side was difficult to pin down. He was given the freedom to charge down the left side, but he also moved inside to act as a playmaker at times. Whatever Marcelo’s position was, he was the best player on the pitch, giving Real Madrid real drive and providing an excellent assist for Mendy. This was a demonstration of what the 32-year-old still offers.
Real Madrid: Courtois 5, Mendy 8, Nacho 5, Varane 5, Marcelo 9, Modric 6, Casemiro 7, Marvin 7, Vinicius 8, Benzema 8, Asensio 6. Subs: Isco 4, Arribas 5, Chust.
Getafe: Soria 7, Damian 5, Cabaco 5, Chakla 6, Olivera 5, Portillo 5, Arambarri 6, Maksimovic 6, Cucurella 4, Angel 4, Cucho 3. Subs: Mata 4, Timor 4, Kubo 3, Alena 3, Unal 3.
16’ Off the crossbar! Benzema gets on the end of a corner kick delivery into the Getafe penalty box, but he could only guide his header off the top of the crossbar! That's the closest Real Madrid have come!
53’ Brilliant save! Very close to an opening goal for Real Madrid! Asensio found Benzema with a good pass, the Frenchman looked for the far corner of the net, but Soria made the diving save.
60’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Getafe (Benzema): The deadlock has been broken and it's Benzema who has found the back of the net! Nacho played the pass out to Vinicius and the Brazilian winger puts the ball on the head of Benzema who heads home from six yards out! Real Madrid ahead!
66’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe (Mendy): It's a second goal in seven minutes! Marcelo gets down the left side and has time and space to get a cross into the middle. His ball finds Mendy and the French full back finishes into the back of the net on the stretch! Opportunistic!
Real Madrid celebrate
Image credit: Getty Images
- Vinicius Junior has provided four assists for Karim Benzema as a Real Madrid, more than any other teammate (in all competitions).
- Getafe failed to have a single shot in the first half against Real Madrid and have now gone 265 minutes without producing a shot on target in La Liga.
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