La Liga: Madrid Cuts Barca’s Lead to One Point

Gareth Bale reached 16 goals for the first time in a La Liga season as Real Madrid thrashed Getafe 5-1 to move one point behind leaders Barcelona. Real’s seventh successive league win kept alive their hopes of a first title since 2012 and sent neighbours Getafe to the bottom of the table.

Karim Benzema put Real ahead and after Isco made it 2-0 at half-time, Bale raced clear to add the third. Getafe replied before James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo added late goals.

Barca, who have taken just one point from the last possible nine, play at home to Valencia today.

Real kept the pressure on the defending champions, while Juan Esnaider made a losing start as Getafe’s new coach. His side have now lost 11 of their past 13 games.

Real, who beat Wolfbsurg in the Champions League on Tuesday to set up a semi-final with Manchester City, barely had to extend themselves to get the result they needed to go above Atletico Madrid, who play Granada today, and into second place.

Coach Zinedine Zidane was able to take off both Bale and Benzema in the second half to give them a rest before Real’s midweek league game at home to fourth-placed Villarreal.

Wales forward Bale, 26, set his best Liga tally since arriving in a world-record £85m move in September 2013, racing into the Getafe area from the right and curling left-footed into the far corner.

Ronaldo continued his record of having played every minute of Real’s La Liga campaign and claimed his 47th goal of the season, scoring for the fourth league game in a row in stoppage time when he tapped in after being set up by Jese.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane: “We are doing our job and are getting closer and closer. We are going to bed one point behind, but we can’t look beyond that.”

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