And then there were three again.
Barcelona had scored after two minutes and Atletico Madrid after three—and again after four—to both move three points ahead of Real Madrid on Saturday at the top of La Liga.
To score after five minutes on their way to restoring the three-way tie at the top of Spain’s top flight.
Jese Rodriguez got that early goal, scoring for the fifth consecutive game when starting, with Karim Benzema and Luka Modric securing the 3-0 win.
Here are some talking points from Los Blancos' latest win.
The more he continues to impress, the more questions from the press about Jese Rodriguez continue to change.
Previously it has all been about whether he has a future at Madrid, but with that seemingly answered, it is now becoming could he sneak into Vicente del Bosque’s Spain squad for the World Cup?
Jese needs just five minutes to open the scoring. Banging on the door of the Spain squad— Richard Martin (@rich9908) February 16, 2014
He was again on target for Real Madrid in the win over Getafe, opening the scoring after just five minutes—it extends his scoring run when starting to five matches. He’s now just two goals off the total a young Raul Gonzalez achieved in his first season for Real Madrid.
His finish wasn’t bad either, ghosting into the area and opening up to place a brilliant finish into the corner of the Getafe goal.
It looks like Carlo Ancelotti’s given in to him. Your move, Vicente.
Getafe’s luck is completely out—not that they would have expected to beat Real Madrid anyway.
They’ve not scored in the league for nearly a month, they’ve not scored away for nearly four and they are now without a win since the end of the November, when they beat Levante 1-0.
When you find yourselves on a run like this, often the only thing that can change it is a little bit of luck.
They need to find it sooner than later if they want to halt their slide towards the bottom three, where a ticket to La Segunda could be waiting for them.
Next weekend they’ll be on the luck for it at Celta Vigo.
“Pepe has a problem and his name is Raphael Varane.”
Those were the words of Jose Mourinho at a press conference (h/t Goal.com) at the tail-end of last season, following a fall-out between manager and player.
It looked, at the time, like Pepe’s time at Real Madrid was at a premium. While Mourinho’s words were harsh, it was certainly true that Varane had become a more than viable candidate to take the Portuguese international’s place in the side.
Fast forward to the present day, and Pepe has established himself as a regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s team—completely on merit.
Again against Getafe he was nearly as reliable as ever alongside Sergio Ramos.
The reason the word ‘nearly’ is used there is because Pepe’s best work was born on the back of his own mistake. He missed the ball, allowing Adrian Colunga through, but showed great speed to recover the situation with a slide tackle timed to the millisecond.
For the time being, Varane’s the one with the problem.
Like Pepe, Karim Benzema’s another player who has put tougher times at the Bernabeu behind him and emerged as a better player for it.
Booed at the beginning of the season, he scored Real Madrid’s second goal against Getafe to advance to 14 goals in La Liga this season—it is his highest total after 24 league games out of any of his previous seasons in Spain.
Carlo Ancelotti may have denied being a “peacemaker” when he arrived, as reported by The Telegraph, but he’s certainly had that effect.
He’s managed the goalkeeper situation between Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez fairly well, restored Pepe’s belief and now we are seeing the rewards of his, and possibly Zinedine Zidane’s, faith in Benzema.
If Madrid no longer court controversy, Ancelotti, whether he likes it or not, has restored the peace.
When Gareth Bale dropped out of the Real Madrid squad in the buildup to the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final it felt like another case of ‘not this again.’
However it’s turned out it was purely precautionary.
With Cristiano Ronaldo missing three games, Carlo Ancelotti didn’t want to take unnecessary risks when he had an in-form Jese Rodriguez to plug the gap.
Bale has since returned to the squad to clock up 90 minutes against Villarreal, Atletico in the second leg and now against Getafe too—it’s the first time he’s achieved that feat for the club.
Unfortunately he’s not quite found the form which he had in November.
He can claim an assist for the Jese goal, but it was little more than a 5-yard pass, while he wasted one glorious chance when Karim Benzema had done the hard work for him.
As long as he continues to complete minutes though, you have to imagine it’s a matter of time until he finds his best form again.
There was once a time when Italian managers drew connotations of boring, drab, defensive football.
Whether that is still the case or not, you can debate among yourselves, but Carlo Ancelotti is certainly laying down a strong case to disprove that theory.
100 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions this season. #BoringItalianStyle— Phil Kitromilides (@PhilKitro) February 16, 2014
Jese Reodriguez’s opener took Real Madrid to 99 goals in all competitions this season, before Karim Benzema’s chest and finish brought up the milestone of 100. Luka Modric added number 101.
Madrid have scored 68 goals in La Liga, racked up 20 in the Champions League group phases and scored 13 on their way to the Copa del Rey final—without reply in that competition, it should be added.
Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way, of course, but Jese, Benzema and Bale have all been contributing.