Real Madrid wins postponed match to move closer to Atletico

  • Real Madrid kept its momentum in the Spanish league by defeating Getafe 2-0 on Tuesday to cut Atletico Madrid’s lead to five points.
Karim Benzema broke the deadlock with a header in the 60th minute. (Real Madrid/Twitter)
Karim Benzema broke the deadlock with a header in the 60th minute. (Real Madrid/Twitter)
Published on Feb 10, 2021 07:32 AM IST
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AP | , Madrid

Real Madrid kept its momentum in the Spanish league by defeating Getafe 2-0 on Tuesday to cut Atletico Madrid’s lead to five points. Karim Benzema and fellow Frenchman Ferland Mendy scored second-half goals in the match postponed from the first round, giving Madrid its third win in four games. The match was postponed as European competitions finished later than scheduled last season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The victory came a day after Atlético conceded late and stumbled to a 2-2 home draw against Celta Vigo to see its eight-game winning streak end. Madrid, trying to repeat as league champion for the first time since 2007-08, moved closer to the top but its city rival remained with two games in hand. Madrid has been recovering from a difficult start to the year, when it endured disappointing results that included an embarrassing elimination to third-division club Alcoyano in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey.

Fighting wind and rain at its Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, Madrid controlled possession but struggled to capitalize on its scoring opportunities against Getafe. Benzema broke the deadlock with a header in the 60th minute after a well-placed cross by Vinicius Junior from the right flank. Benzema, who has 16 goals this season, had already hit the crossbar with a header early in the match. Mendy added to the lead in the 66th by completing a left-side cross by Marcelo, who like Mendy is a left back but was also playing because of the lack of options for coach Zinedine Zidane on Tuesday.

Madrid has been depleted by injuries and suspensions, with nine players unavailable for the match at the Di Stefano, including captain Sergio Ramos. Zidane changed the team’s formation to a 3-5-2, with three defenders in the back, moving Marcelo to a more advanced position. The coach promoted the first senior-squad start for 20-year-old Marvin Park, who ended being substituted in the second half. Two other youth players entered the game — Victor Chust and Sergio Arribas.

Young Japan forward Takefusa Kubo, who joined Getafe this season on a loan from Madrid, came into the match early in the second half but couldn’t do much to help his new team. Winless in four straight league matches, Getafe sits 13th in the 20-team standings.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021