Real Madrid bags three points at Getafe in a difficult fixture
Jan 6, 2020.
Starting XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Militao, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Benzema (C), Isco
Zidane sent Real Madrid out in a 4-3-3 formation with Isco and Bale playing as traditional wide players. Militao came in for the suspended Sergio Ramos, and Benzema took the captain's armband. Zidane also opted for the experience of Modric in the midfield instead of Valverde.
Getafe started the game pressing high to stifle Real Madrid's build-up play. They were counting on the physical game to overrun Real Madrid players and disrupt any sort of rhythm. Casemiro was able to beat the press and sent a beautiful through ball to Bale very early in the game but, the Welshman wasn't able to capitalize. Other than that, the first 15 minutes of the game were very quiet. Both teams struggled to string together a series of meaningful passes. Getafe's game plan was working; there were lots of breaks in play and very little control for Los Blancos.
Getafe was well organized and forced giveaways from Los Blancos. Real Madrid players found it difficult to get away from the high press. As the game lacked rhythm, Getafe was slowly gaining momentum. Things went according to their gameplan and the first real chance of the game fell to them around the 24th minute when Arrambari got onto a loose ball on top of the box following a cross in the box. He controlled the ball with his chest, took a shot at goal with a fantastic volley but, Courtois was equally on par with a brilliant diving save.
Real Madrid had not done much of note for the first 30 minutes of the game. But they managed to get a goal in the 34th minute after probably their best spell of the first half. The team in white was able to push up the field following a good sequence of play that led to Gareth Bale being fouled by the corner flag. The resulting freekick was cleared but only got as far as Mendy. He put in a good cross with his weak foot; Getafe goalkeeper David Soria misjudges the flight of the ball and flops his attempted punch as Varane headed the ball into the back of the net. Real Madrid was not able to gain any momentum following the goal as Getafe finished the half stronger. Courtois was called upon to make two outstanding saves to end the half. One of them being a header by Cabrera from six yards out.
Half-time (Getafe 0 - 1 Real Madrid)
Getafe came out in the first half with a gameplan to stifle any proper buildup from Real Madrid and they did it brilliantly. They were able to disrupt any sort of rhythm and physically overran the Madrid midfield. There was barely any service from the midfield to the forward line both Isco and Benzema suffered as a result. Isco was instructed to stay on the wide left than his usual free-roaming game and this meant he was barely involved with only 19 touches. Similarly, Benzema didn't get many services and only mustered up 23 touches. Both Modric and Kroos were feeling the pressure from the physicality of the game. This led to giveaways in some dangerous areas and Getafe was able to create some great chances. Courtois' brilliance on goal was the only thing keeping Real Madrid in the game.
The team in blue came out with intent and created a couple of chances to start the second half but, they were all correctly ruled out for offside. Real Madrid gained more control in the game as Isco dropped deeper and got more involved. Zidane's tactical adjustment to Isco's role led to the little magician earning a freekick in a dangerous area of the pitch. Kroos stepped up to take the freekick; he delivered a pinpoint cross for Varane to put a thumping header past Soria for his second goal of the game.
Real Madrid gained confidence with the score at 0-2. They also soared up defensively as Getafe struggled to create many chances. Both Varane and Militao were mopping up everything that came their way. Militao also sent Bale through with a lovely long ball but, the Welshman's attempted chip over the goalkeeper was well-read by Soria. Fede Valverde and Vinicius came in for Kroos and Isco in the 70th minute.
Getafe pushed to get back in the game but Real Madrid exerted control and did not let pass anything. Courtois only had one regulation save to make in the second half compared to three world-class ones in the first half. Jovic came in for Benzema in the 80th min. Fede Valverde sent Bale one-on-one against the goalkeeper with a wonderful final ball but, Soria came up with a brilliant save to deny the former Spurs player. Modric scored a superb team goal after some delightful work from Mendy, Bale, and Valverde.
Full Time (Getafe 0 - 3 Real Madrid)
This was a tough away win for Los Blancos. The first half arguably belonged to Getafe as they should consider themself unlucky to come out a goal behind. However, Real Madrid had better control of the game in the second half and deservedly secured the win.
This team has shown that they are defensively solid. Militao and Varane formed a solid partnership at the back.
The team had a rough time in the first half dealing with the physicality of a solid Getafe team. However, they fought through it and came out with a difficult but deserved three points.
Offensively, this team needs to take their chances better. Hazard coming back to the team will immensely help Real Madrid's offensive output but, the lack of finishing by players like Vinicius and Bale is still a topic of concern.
Winning these tough away games are very important for Real's title hopes.
Three stars of the match
Raphael Varane - He scored two goals and was immense in the back with a team-high nine clearances. Cleared up everything that came his way, and put in a man of the match display.
Thibaut Courtois - His rise in form this season has been very important for the team. Put in another commanding display between the sticks with three world-class saves.
Ferland Mendy - Mendy is another player who gets a lot of slack from the fanbase for lacking offensive quality. However, he was instrumental in two of the three goals. He assisted Varane for the first goal and also showed some nifty skills to get past his marker in the buildup to the third goal. He also had a team-high four dribbles completed. He was also dependable at the back as usual.