Jese Rodriguez and Karim Benzema continued their excellent goalscoring form for Real Madrid with first half strikes to help their team to a comfortable 3-0 victory at struggling near neighbours Getafe.
The duo have now scored a combined total of eight goals in the last four games, with their incisive performances last night more than compensating for the absence of suspended Cristiano Ronaldo.
Luka Modric added a classy third in the second half as Madrid comfortably returned to a share of the lead in La Liga alongside Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, keeping their 11th clean sheet of the calendar year in the process.
Increasingly impressive homegrown talent Rodriguez needed just five minutes to send Los Blancos into the lead, receiving a pass from Gareth Bale towards the left-hand side of the penalty box and showing brilliant technique to curl a rightfooted shot just inside the far corner.
Madrid were very comfortable throughout the opening stages, but Getafe gradually started to gain a foothold in the game and had their first serious effort when Juan Rodriguez dragged a long-range effort well wide.
Bale was enjoying a bright start to the game and midway throughthe opening period the Welshman cut inside from his right wing position to shoot, but he didn’t make clean contact and his bouncing effort was uneasily gathered by home keeper Miguel Angel Moya.
Getafe then enjoyed a strong spell, threatening when a misjudgement from Pepe allowed Adrian Colunga to race towards goal, but Pepe made an excellent recovery challenge to block the striker’s effort on goal.
From the resulting corner, Pedro Leon’s inswinging delivery forced Diego Lopez to tip the ball over the bar as Getafe started to seriously threaten a leveller.
But the second goal soon arrived to give the visitors a sense of comfort, with Angel Di Maria leading a break down the left wing and delivering a cross to the far post, where Benzema controlled on his chest before confidently stroking home a low shot.
Bale fired a long-range free-kick into the wall and then badly miscued a presentable opportunity well wide after being played in by Benzema. But Madrid comfortably took their 2-0 advantage into the interval, with smooth passing football difficult on a bumpy and uneven pitch.
Colunga had a chance to reduce the deficit early in the second half when he ran onto a pass from Jaime Gavilan, but blazed badly wide with his right foot.
Di Maria had a long-range shot palmed away by Moya and Marcelo’s shot was deflected wide as Madrid went in search of a third goal to kill off the game. But Getafe then briefly rallied and enjoyed a spell of pressure as substitute Angel Lafita hooked an effort wide from a free-kick and Diego Castro sent a long-range halfvolley well wide.
Di Maria had a chance to add a third after beating the offside trap to break clear, but the in-form Argentina international lost his footing at the crucial moment. T
he decisive third goal soon arrived, though, when Marcelo slid a square ball to Modric who had time and space to drill a firm low effort into the bottom right corner from 25 yards.
With the game well won, the remaining 25 minutes offered little goalmouth action, with Marcelo forcing a low save and substitute Isco having a shot deflected onto the top of the crossbar as Madrid eased to victory.
Man of the match
The French forward has responded superbly to the challenge of standing in for the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring three goals in two games along with excellent all-round performances. Benzema is now looking a genuinely world-class talent up front for Los Blancos.
The game was never in doubt after Jese’s early goal, with Real Madrid producing a performance that would have pleased manager Carlo Ancelotti for its balance between defence and attack. Getafe were outclassed and face a tough three months in their struggle against relegation