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Raphael Varane scored twice as Real Madrid beat Getafe 3-0 in their first La Liga match of 2020 on Saturday at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Los Blancos took the lead on 34 minutes after goalkeeper David Soria failed to punch Ferland Mendy’s cross clear, allowing Varane to head the ball into the empty net.
Getafe created plenty of chances to equalise in a feisty first half, and Real Madrid needed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to save from Mauro Arambarri, Faycal Fajr and Leandro Cabrera before half-time.
Real Madrid doubled their lead on 53 minutes through Varane’s second of the game. The France international rose highest to head Toni Kroos’ free-kick past Soria.
Luka Modric wrapped up the win deep into stoppage time after a quick break. The Croatia international tapped into an empty net after being teed up by Federico Valverde.
Real Madrid were without captain Sergio Ramos due to suspension for Saturday’s match, which saw Varane partner Eder Militao in the centre of defence. Casemiro returned in midfield, and Gareth Bale and Isco started in attack alongside top scorer Karim Benzema.
The hosts made just one change to the team beaten by Villarreal in their final fixture of 2019, bringing in Angel Rodriguez in attack in place of Jorge Molina.
Getafe made life difficult for the visitors in a committed first-half showing. The first shot of the match came from 24 minutes when Arambarri forced Courtois into a flying save with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area:
Cabrera thundered another effort just wide of Courtois’ post on the half-volley before Getafe were undone by a poor piece of goalkeeping that saw Real Madrid take the lead.
A cross in from deep by Mendy tempted Soria off his line, but Varane got to the ball ahead of the goalkeeper and saw his header trickle into the back of the net.
Real Madrid went close again when Benzema controlled a long ball forward from Dani Carvajal, rolled Djene Dakonam and unleashed a shot that was blocked at his near post by Soria.
Getafe ended the half well and were denied an equaliser by more good work from Courtois. The Belgium international parried a powerful snapshot from Fajr at his near post and then had to be at full stretch to deny a Cabrera header:
The hosts started the second half strongly but conceded a second from a Kroos free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
The Germany international swung the ball into the box for Varane to power a firm header past Soria:
Varane then turned provider by carving out a chance for Bale. The centre-back sent a ball over the top for the Welshman to latch on to, but his attempted chip over the goalkeeper was caught by Soria.
Substitute Vinicius Junior ought to have added a third late on after being played through on goal. The Brazilian managed to clip the ball past Soria, but his effort flew into the side-netting.
Real Madrid managed to find a third in the sixth minute of stoppage time. A rapid counter-attack launched by Bale saw substitute Valverde sweep down the left and unselfishly cross for Modric to convert from close range:
The result ends a run of three consecutive draws for Real Madrid in La Liga and sees them move to the top of the table ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Espanyol on Saturday evening.
Real Madrid play Valencia in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana on Thursday at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Getafe’s next fixture is against Badalona in the second round of the Copa del Rey next Saturday.