Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all got on the scoresheet as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 victory over Getafe in La Liga on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez was hoping for a big performance from his players as a hostile atmosphere awaited them at the Santiago Bernabeu, and his seven changes started in goal, where Keylor Navas comes in for Kiko Casilla.
In defence, Lucas Vazquez was stationed as an emergency right-back to make up for Marcelo’s absence, with Danilo on the left, while Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo were all included. Denis Cheryshev was also named on the substitutes’ bench after his controversial appearance against Cadiz on Wednesday.
Centre-back Alexis Ruano, meanwhile, was Getafe’s only survivor from the midweek Copa defeat to Rayo Vallecano.
With the above in mind, the onus switched onto Madrid, and they had Benzema to thank as the striker fired them ahead after just four minutes, tucking away Pepe’s cross from the right-hand side.
It was Benzema’s first goal since October and one he particularly enjoyed in light of his recent struggles off the pitch, and he grabbed his second 10 minutes later, when he took down Gareth Bale’s knockdown, drove around his marker and smashed home the finish.
The Welshman was another Blanco with a point to prove, despite his goal against Eibar last week, and he netted his second in as many games, showing great composure in the box to pick his spot from Ronaldo’s header to prevent the ball from going out for a goal kick.
Ronaldo became the only member of the BBC not to have scored at that point, but it was only a matter of moments away as he latched onto Kroos’ delightful through ball and dragged his finish past Vicente Guaita, who could not have done much else with the Madrid onslaught.
The job was done as far as Madrid were concerned, making for a lifeless second half, although Getafe – La Liga’s most prolific team in the final 15 minutes – did eventually show some fight, when Alexis pulled one back with a powerful header on 70 minutes.
Nonetheless, it was far too little too soon from Fran Escriba’s side as Madrid went on to see out their fourth straight win.
Real Madrid 4-1 Getafe
Benzema 4, 16, Bale 35, Ronaldo 38 (RM) Alexis 70 (G)
Real Madrid: Navas; Vazquez, Pepe (Arbeloa 87), Nacho, Danilo; Kroos, Modric (Kovacic 62); James, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema (Jese 78)
Getafe: Guaita; Damian, Alexis, Cala, Lago; Lacen; Wanderson (Leon 62); Sarabia, Victor (Mensah 80), Lafita; Alvaro (Scepovic 46)
Referee: Mateu Lahoz