No Bale for Real Madrid's rioters
Multi-million dollar Welsh striker misses home debut due to a warm-up injury, but Madrid run riot against Getafe anyway
Real Madrid shrugged off a warm-up injury suffered by Gareth Bale to move back to within two points of leaders Barcelona on Sunday thanks to a 4-1 win over Getafe.
Angel Lafita’s deflected strike had given the visitors a surprise early lead, but Pepe and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty put Madrid in front at half-time before Isco and Ronaldo sealed the win in the second-half.
However, it was a frustrating day for Bale, who had been named in the starting line-up, as he was forced to miss what would have been his home debut at the Santiago Bernabeu after injuring his thigh in the warm-up.
Isco was drafted in to take the Welshman's place on the left side of a 4-4-2 formation and, despite the disruption, the hosts should still have been in front within three minutes when Ronaldo was denied by two desperate blocks at close range.
The home side were stunned on six minutes though when referee David Fernandez Borbalan waved play on despite Ronaldo’s claims for a foul in midfield and Lafita’s effort deflected off Pepe past the hopelessly wrong-footed Diego Lopez.
Madrid levelled in the 19th minute as Miguel Angel Moya could only parry Ronaldo's effort from Angel di Maria's free-kick and Pepe bundled home the rebound.
Ronaldo should have made it 2-1 from a carbon copy free-kick moments later, but this time the Portuguese volleyed off target.
Di Maria then forced Moya into a fine flying save to his right as the Real pressure began to mount. And the hosts were in front on 33 minutes when Michel was harshly penalised for handling Ronaldo's driven free-kick inside the area.
The Portuguese confidently dispatched the resulting spot-kick to move level with Mexican Hugo Sanchez as the club’s fifth highest goalscorer of all-time on 207 goals.
Isco finally give Madrid the two-goal advantage they craved when he ran onto Ronaldo’s quickly taken free-kick and bent in his fifth goal in six games since joining the club.
Getafe were reduced to 10 men when Michel was shown a straight red card for denying substitute Jese Rodriguez a clear goalscoring opportunity five minutes from time. And the visitors' misery was completed deep into stoppage time when Ronaldo flicked home Sami Khedira’s cross.
Meanwhile, Bale is a major doubt for Real’s trip to Elche on Wednesday after the club confirmed he has suffered a thigh strain.
Bale injury update
A statement on the club’s website confirmed that a scan carried out yesterday had detected a strain in his left thigh and his return to action would depend on his recovery over the next few days.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said after the game that he was hopeful Bale would be fit for Saturday’s Madrid derby against Atletico, however he wasn't so positive about his chances of featuring in midweek.