Real Madrid took an enormous step in the direction of successful La Liga on Thursday by battling previous Getafe to maneuver 4 factors away from Barcelona, with 5 video games left. Sergio Ramos’ late penalty proved the distinction on the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium the place Madrid have been made to really feel uncomfortable by Getafe however dug out a gutsy 1-Zero victory worthy of champions. This was arguably Madrid’s hardest fixture remaining and with a four-point benefit over Barca, in addition to the superior head-to-head, the trophy is now firmly inside their grasp.
“We have not won anything,” insisted coach Zinedine Zidane.
“We are doing things well, yes, but there are five games still to go. If we continue like this, staying solid, it will be fine.”
It is Madrid’s largest lead over Barcelona since September and their largest cushion on the prime of the desk all season.
If they’ll beat Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday, Madrid may even pull seven factors clear earlier than Barca face a troublesome recreation away at in-form Villarreal a number of hours later.
Barcelona’s 2-2 draw at residence to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, approaching the again of one other 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo final weekend, gave Zidane’s aspect a gap they usually have taken full benefit.
“My job is to make them calm in the difficult moments,” mentioned Zidane. “To be quiet, patient, positive. They believe in what we do.”
Six wins out six for the reason that restart, with solely two targets conceded, has made for a relentless run of kind and it will take a monumental collapse now to let Barca again in.
Eden Hazard was overlooked of the squad as he continues his restoration from a difficult foot harm however Ramos and the wonderful Karim Benzema led the way in which once more.
‘Took hit to neck’
Raphael Varane went off within the first half with a neck harm.
“He’s not well,” mentioned Zidane. “He took a hit to his neck and he is at home. The doctor has gone to see him and tomorrow we will see how he is.”
Ramos’ spot-kick with 11 minutes left was his ninth objective of the season, one of the best tally of his profession.
“He is our leader,” mentioned Zidane. “He’s unique, unparalleled.”
Getafe have been within the hunt for the highest 4 earlier than the suspension however one defeat and three attracts from their first 4 video games after the return noticed Jose Bordalas’ crew fall away.
Yet after beating Real Sociedad on Monday, this was one other encouraging efficiency which may hold their hopes alive. They sit sixth, 5 factors adrift of Sevilla in fourth.
“We go home disappointed,” mentioned Bordalas. “We felt we had control of the game.”
Getafe have been snapping at Madrid’s heels from the beginning, with David Timor proven a yellow card after 12 seconds, the quickest reserving in La Liga for the reason that information began in 2005.
Madrid may hardly escape early on and Thibaut Courtois needed to react quick to Nemanja Maksimovic’s header which took a clumsy deflection of Jaime Mata.
But for all their strain, Getafe created few possibilities whereas Madrid made one of the best one with their first assault as Vinicius Junior met Mendy’s cross from the left however his end on the slide was clawed away by David Soria.
With Ramos booked, Varane then needed to go off. Eder Militao changed him and he took a yellow card too early within the second half to extend Madrid’s discomfort.
Modric shot simply extensive of the submit after which was taken off as Zidane rung the modifications. Rodrygo, Marco Asensio and Fede Valverde all got here on.
Yet Getafe appeared on target for a draw, till the 79th minute when Mathias Olivera made the decisive error.
Carvajal drove to the road after which in the reduction of, throwing his physique over Olivera’s outstretched proper leg. Ramos crept up to speed and fired in as Madrid march on.
Earlier, Real Sociedad stayed within the race for European qualification by successful 2-1 at residence to Espanyol, who keep backside, now 10 factors adrift of security. Osasuna received 2-Zero away at Eibar.
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