Evening all! Sports Mole
's live La Liga coverage continues from the Bernabeu as Real Madrid
welcome Getafe. The Spanish champions had been on a very impressive run prior to losing 1-0 at Espanyol on Tuesday night, and the hosts will be looking to return to winning ways against a good Getafe side. Stay tuned for what should be an interesting game of football from the capital!
Real Madrid have won each of the last eight league meetings between these two teams – including a 4-1 victory when the pair last met at the Bernabeu in December 2015. Getafe's last La Liga success over Real Madrid was a 2-1 home win in August 2012, and they have not won at the Bernabeu since February 2008. The omens are not exactly fantastic for the visitors tonight.
Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Spanish capital. Both teams were in action during the week – Real Madrid losing 1-0 at Espanyol on Tuesday night, while Getafe recorded a 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna one day later.
REAL MADRID: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Theo; Casemiro, Llorente, Isco; Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale
GETAFE: Emiliano; Damian, Djene, Bruno, Antunes; Portillo, Mora, Arambarri, Fajr; Remy, Angel
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane
has made five changes to the team that started against Espanyol on Tuesday night. Cristiano Ronaldo
and Karim Benzema return in the final third of the field, with Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez dropping out. Dani Carvajal is back at right-back, while Theo Hernandez is selected ahead of Marcelo at left-back. Neither Luka Modric nor Toni Kroos are in the squad ahead of next week's trip to Paris Saint-Germain. Mateo Kovacic has dropped to the bench.
As for Getafe, there is a spot in the final third of the field for Loic Remy, with Jorge Molina dropping to the bench. Angel continues in an attacking position, while Portillo will start in a wide midfield role once again. Japan international Gaku Shibasaki remains on the bench for the Madrid club.
So there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff in the Spanish capital. I shall speak about Getafe a little bit later, but let's start with Real Madrid. The reigning champions had been on a fine run of form before suffering a 1-0 defeat at Espanyol on Tuesday.
The loss in Barcelona was Real Madrid's first in the league since a 1-0 home defeat to Villarreal on January 13. Zidane's side entered the match off the back of five straight wins in all competitions, but could not continue their impressive run of form. As a result, Real Madrid remain third in the table – eight points off second-placed Atletico Madrid, who travel to Barcelona tomorrow.
It might well be that Zidane has to retain the Champions League this season to keep his job as head coach. Five league defeats already this term is just not good enough for a team of Real Madrid's ilk, and they have already suffered three losses at the Bernabeu in La Liga this season.
In terms of what is ahead for Los Blancos, they will travel to Paris Saint-Germain for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday night. PSG will be without the services of Neymar, and the French giants, who have an incredible home record, will need to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg at the Bernabeu. Be sure to join Sports Mole for that one next week!
Real Madrid will then travel to Eibar in the league next weekend, before hosting Girona. To be honest, all of the club's eggs are in the Champions League basket this season as it seems unlikely that they will even be able to catch Atletico in second. That said, Atletico could well drop points when they travel to Barcelona tomorrow afternoon, which should be a terrific match by the way.
Getafe, meanwhile, will enter this match full of confidence following a 3-0 win over Deportivo on Wednesday night. The Madrid club have only lost one of their last eight league matches, with that impressive run of form leaving them in 10th position in the table – 16 points clear of the bottom three.
Nine wins, nine draws and eight defeats represents a strong campaign for El Geta, who managed a goalless draw at Barcelona earlier this month. That said, Getafe have only won one of their 12 away league fixtures this season. Their home form is actually the fourth strongest in the division having won eight and lost just three of their 14 in front of their own supporters - very impressive indeed.
It was always going to be a big season for Getafe when considering that they sealed a return to the top flight by coming through the Segunda Division playoffs last season. They have not finished higher then 10th in La Liga since the 2009-10 campaign, but could well secure a top-half position this term.
Here we go then; both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of kickoff in the Spanish capital. Real Madrid are, of course, the favourites to win tonight, but Getafe have impressed many with their form this season. It should be an entertaining affair at the Bernabeu!
KICKOFF! Real Madrid kick things off on home soil...
... not quite a full house inside the stadium tonight, but there is a good atmosphere, and the home supporters will be expecting all three points. It is somewhat of a surprise that Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale all start ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League last-16 second leg against PSG.
Ronaldo finds space on the edge of the Getafe box following a super pass from Isco, but the Portugal international cannot slide the ball into the path of Hernandez. As expected, Real Madrid are on the front foot in the early moments with Carvajal also pressing high up the right here.
There has just been a clash of heads between Nacho and Angel, but both players are back on their feet. No shots from either side thus far, but there is a decent early tempo to this all-Madrid clash.
Real Madrid have a free kick in a dangerous area following a late challenge from Mora on Bale...
... Isco delivers into the Getafe box, but Dakonam does well to make the clearance.
We are still waiting for the first attempt of the match, but Real Madrid are looking the more threatening in the final third of the field. Ronaldo has been heavily involved in the final third, although we are yet to see too much from Bale or Benzema, who have faced criticism in recent weeks.
The Real Madrid supporters behind the goal that the hosts are attacking are full of noise, but their team has not produced too much in the first 13 minutes. Pretty non-eventful thus far tonight.
Remy has started in a wide position for Getafe tonight rather than through the middle. Angel is the player at the tip of the away side's attack, and the number nine has done a good job of occupying Nacho and Ramos. No Varane for Real Madrid tonight by the way - the Frenchman has been rested.
Not too much from Bale at the moment. Isco just attempted to find the Welshman with a raking pass, but the ball skidded away from the attacker. Still goalless with 18 minutes on the clock.
SAVE! Navas is down low to keep out a decent attempt from Angel.
Better from Real Madrid as they move the ball quicker in the final third, but they are still finding it difficult to create space against a Getafe side that are enjoying an impressive campaign.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Getafe (Bale)
Real Madrid make the breakthrough in the 24th minute as Bale strikes into the bottom corner after the ball had fallen kindly for the Welshman inside the Getafe box!
BOOKING! Remy (Getafe) is booked for a heavy challenge on Nacho.
Bale's goal does seem to have settled Real Madrid down, but Getafe will continue to play their football. A win for the home side tonight would move them to within seven points of second-placed Atletico.
There have been some very tasty challenges in the first 30 minutes of this match, but just the one yellow card for that Remy elbow on Nacho. I suspect that the card count will rise by full-time!
Half-chance for the home side as Hernandez delivers a dangerous cross towards Ronaldo, but it actually comes off the knee of Dakonam before dropping into the arms of Martinez.
Ronaldo delivers a low cross into the Getafe box, but Benzema cannot get across the near post, with Martinez making the claim. Good pressure from the home side as they continue to force the issue.
BOOKING! Nacho (Real Madrid) is booked for a late challenge on Remy.
The pressure is building here as Real Madrid continue to commit players forward. Isco dances into the Getafe box before looking to poke the ball to Ronaldo, but Dakonam does well to make the clearance. You do get the feeling that a second Real Madrid goal would kill this game as a contest.
Benzema rises at the far post to meet a cross from Carvajal, but Suarez did extremely well to block the Frenchman, who ultimately concedes a free kick. Still all Real Madrid in terms of pressure.
CLOSE! Carvajal's low strike just misses the far post!
This first period has absolutely flown past. It has not been full of chances and talking points, but Real Madrid have played some very nice football - particularly in the last 10 minutes or so.
Isco delivers low into the Getafe box following an impressive run, but Bruno's kick is collected by Martinez as the away side regain possession of the ball. Still 1-0 with 44 minutes on the clock.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe (Ronaldo)
Real Madrid score their second in the final moments of the first period as Ronaldo collects a super pass from Benzema before working some space and finding the bottom corner of the net!
Ronaldo misses the crossbar with a thumping effort from outside the box.
HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Real Madrid leading Getafe 2-0 courtesy of goals from Bale and Ronaldo. Getafe have played well for periods, but Real Madrid have been threatening in the final third, and two members of the BBC are on the scoresheet.
STATISTICS! Real Madrid dominated the first-half possession with 79%, while they managed five attempts - two of which were on target. Getafe, meanwhile, hit the target just once in the first 45 minutes. Just the one yellow card to report, with Remy picking up a booking in the 25th minute.
BENCH WATCH! Getafe have a number of attacking options on their bench tonight, with Molina, Pacheco and Shibasaki all available in the second period. Real Madrid boss Zidane, meanwhile, has the likes of Asensio, Lucas, Marcelo and Mayoral in reserve. Plenty of talent in reserve for both teams!
RESTART! Getafe resume the action for the away side...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.
SAVE! Remy tests the hands of Navas with a strike from outside the box.
RED CARD! REMY!
Oh my word! Getafe are down to 10 men as Remy is handed a second yellow card for grabbing the neck of Nacho! I am not sure what the striker is doing there, but he has been sent off!
Half-chance for the home side as Bale finds Benzema in a dangerous position, but the Frenchman's effort was always straight at the Getafe goalkeeper. Could be a long second half for the visitors.
BOOKING! Portillo (Getafe) is booked for a late challenge on Theo.
There will come a point in the second period where Zidane starts to think about next week's Champions League clash with PSG. It would not be a surprise to see Ronaldo come off at some point, although the Portugal international will be desperate to add more goals here.
GETAFE SUB! Molina replaces Angel for the away side.
Casemiro drills a pass into Ronaldo and the number seven does well to collect, but the offside flag is raised. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining, with Real Madrid leading Getafe 2-0.
Good football between Isco and Theo in a wide position, but the former's cross is deflected behind.
GETAFE SUB! Gaku replaces Mora for the away side.
Gaku comes close to finding the run of Molina following a good break from Getafe, but Theo just about does enough to make the clearance. Not too many clear chances to report at the moment.
It appears that Marcelo is going to be handed some minutes ahead of PSG.
Getafe have a penalty as Nacho brings Molina to the ground with a lazy challenge!
Replays have shown that Nacho might well have won the ball there!
REAL MADRID SUB! Marcelo replaces Theo for the home side.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Getafe (Portillo, pen)
Portillo goes straight down the middle to register for Getafe!
GOAL DISALLOWED! Ronaldo nods home at the far post, but the whistle is blown!
SAVE! Wonderful save from Martinez as the Getafe goalkeeper somehow keeps out a close-range attempt from Ronaldo. Real Madrid have stepped it up since conceding here.
Fair play to Getafe for making a game of this in the second period. It has been all Real Madrid since the goal went in, however, and it does appear that a third for the home side is coming here.
Marcelo does well to create space down the left before delivering low into the Getafe box, but Bruno makes the clearance ahead of Ronaldo. Still 2-1 with 73 minutes on the clock here.
Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema are all still on the pitch for the home side, and it will be very interesting to see whether all three start against PSG next week. I suspect that they will due to the absence of Modric and Kroos. Isco could well start in a deeper midfield position for the European champions.
Isco pokes the ball towards Benzema inside the Getafe box, but the Frenchman takes a touch, which allows Martinez to grab the loose ball. Still 2-1 as we approach the final 10 minutes here.
GOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Getafe (Ronaldo)
Ronaldo rises highest inside the box to head a Marcelo cross into the back of the net!
REAL MADRID SUBS! Asensio and Kovacic replace Ronaldo and Llorente.
Casemiro misses the target from distance as Real Madrid look for more goals in the latter stages.
Benzema will be desperate to get his name on the scoresheet in the final five minutes or so here. The Frenchman has been involved in a lot of good football, but has not had many chances.
Getafe will make their final change in the next stoppage here.
GETAFE SUB! Pacheco replaces Portillo for the away side.
Marcelo drives into the Getafe box before flashing a low cross towards Benzema, but the Frenchman cannot make contact. Marcelo looks ready for PSG, that is for sure.
I should not think that there will be too much added time at the end of the 90 minutes here.
We are into the first of three additional minutes at the Bernabeu.
POST! Bale's curling effort hits the outside of the post!
Getafe must be credited for not folding when they went down to 10 men, but there is no question that Real Madrid deserve to pick up all the points tonight. The full-time whistle is imminent.
SAVE! Martinez keeps out a close-range Bale attempt!
FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 3-1 Getafe
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Real Madrid beating Getafe 3-1 in the Spanish capital. Plenty of positive signs for Los Blancos ahead of their trip to PSG on Tuesday night. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again!