Jese, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric scored the goals as Real Madrid kept pace in the La Liga title race with a 3-0 victory at Getafe on Sunday.
The visitors went ahead in only the fifth minute via Jese's fine curled strike. Benzema doubled the lead midway through the half, and Modric sealed the points with Madrid's third in the second half.
The victory put Real on 60 points, level with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Barcelona top the table on goal difference, with Real claiming second by a single goal over Atletico. Getafe find themselves at 16th with 25 points.
Real Madrid have now gone 14 matches unbeaten in the league, and Los Blancos will hope to extend their good form in the coming weeks as important fixtures begin to pile up.
Following a comparatively straightforward match at home to Elche in the league next weekend, Real return to the UEFA Champions League the following Wednesday with an away game against German side Schalke 04.
Then comes a stretch that will see Real play Atletico Madrid, Schalke and Barcelona in the space of three weeks.
All that made Sunday's match vital for Real, and with Cristiano Ronaldo serving the second of a three-match league suspension, manager Carlo Ancelotti was forced to shuffle his lineup.
Ancelotti made six changes to the side that won 2-0 at Atletico Madrid on Tuesday in the Copa del Rey. Diego Lopez returned to goal, with Pepe and Marcelo starting on defence. Angel di Maria slotted into the midfield, while Benzema and Jese came into the forward line.
Madrid started quickly and went ahead in the fifth minute. Bale laid off for Jese on the left, and Jese expertly curled his shot into the net for a 1-0 lead.
“The team played very well right from the start of the game, and the first goal made things easier for us in a ground that is always difficult," Lopez said, per RealMadrid.com. "It was a fairly simple and effective game and one that we had to win."
The visitors doubled their lead in the 27th minute with a blistering counter. Jese was the catalyst this time, leading the attack before laying off for di Maria on the left. Di Maria crossed to the back post for Benzema, who chested the ball down and finished coolly to make it 2-0.
"Nothing surprises me about Jese because he’s doing very well, showing consistency and scoring," Ancelotti said, per Inside Spanish Football. "That’s no surprise now. He’s an important player and he’s doing well. We’ve spoken a lot about him already and I hope he carries on like he is."
Bale had a chance to score Real's third in the 33rd minute, but he shot wide of the near post after fine work from Benzema attacking through the middle.
Real took their 2-0 lead into half-time, but after the break, Getafe improved markedly. Adrian Colunga shot high and wide in the 47th minute, and Juan Rodriguez directed an effort off target from Pedro Leon's set piece eight minutes later.
Instead of starting a comeback, however, Getafe soon found themselves further behind. Marcelo received the ball on the left in the 66th minute and passed to Modric, who curled in a superb shot to make it 3-0.
Getafe continued to search for a goal but could not find the net. In the 74th minute, Pablo Sarabia came close with a shot from outside the box, and eight minutes later, Lisandro Lopez headed over the bar from a corner.
The hosts had a final chance in stoppage time, but Angel Lafita saw his shot saved as Lopez maintained his clean sheet.
|Real Madrid Player Ratings vs. Getafe|
|Angel di Maria||CM||7||8|
Both teams continue league play next Saturday, when Getafe visit Celta Vigo, and Real Madrid host Elche.