Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable victory over Getafe, taking little out of themselves ahead of the home return leg with Chelsea in the Champions League in 72 hours.
Casemiro headed Real in front seven minutes before the break with a diving effort from Vinicius Junior’s exquisite cross from the left flank delivered with the outside of his right boot.
Any doubt of the destination of the three points was allayed when Lucas Vazquez exchanged passes with Rodrygo in the right-hand side of the penalty area and then slotted home with his left foot.
The win leaves Real 12 points clear of second-place Sevilla with seven games remaining, while Getafe, in 14th spot, are four points away from the drop zone.
This will not be a game which lingers long in the memory for fans of Los Blancos, but winning while resting veteran midfield pair Luka Modrid and Toni Kroos, as well as first choice full backs Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, is the perfect preparation for the match against Chelsea in the same venue on Tuesday.
Glimpse of the future – Eduardo Camavinga always impresses when he starts for Real Madrid but knows he needs at least one injury to have a chance of starting in the big Champions League games his team will play over the next month or so. His presence gives a different dimension to the Real Madrid side, with his ability to dispossess the opposition and allow Casemiro to drift forward and cause havoc in the opposition area. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, given well-earned rests in this game, show no sign of stopping at the end of this season but if Camavinga carries on with his trajectory one of their starting midfield trio will probably be second choice by this time next season.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Vincius Junior (Real Madrid) – He always seems to drop short of the perfect perfromance. Always chances missed when he delays too long with a shot or a ball given away in midfield putting his side under pressure. But what an exhilerating player he is to watch. He will never be able to compete with Kylian Mbappe for a slot on the left wing if he does move to the Santiago Bernabeu but he the graceful style he creates for his team-mates or toys with opposition full backs will be missed if his position is usurped.
Real Madrid: Courtois 6, Lucas Vazquez 7, Militao 7, Alaba 7, Marcelo 7; Casemiro 7, Camavinga 7, Valverde 7; Rodrygo 7, Vinicius 8; Benzema 6.
Subs: Bale 6, Ceballos 6, Asensio 6, Nacho 6.
Getafe: Soria 7; Damian 6, Djene 6, Mitrovic 7, Cuenca 6, Olivera 6; Maksimovic 6, Alena 6, Villar 7; Mayoral 6, Unal 6.
Subs: Rodriguez 6, Ramirez 6, Luis 6, Cabaco 6, Yokoslu 6.
21′ EVERYTHING BUT THE FINISH Vinicius Jr beats his man with a nutmeg then turns inside the next defender but his shot is too close to the keeper and comfortably stopped.
38′ GOAL FOR REAL MADRID! Casemiro dives to head home after a wonderful outside of the boot cross from Vinicius Jr.
68′ GOAL FOR REAL! Vazquez slots home with his left foot after an exchange of passes with Rodrygo.
90+1′ NOT FAR AWAY! Unal is played through and his effort from a tight angle has Courtois beaten but just skims the far post.