Courtois shines for Real Madrid in 3-0 win over Getafe

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Getafe (Spain), Jan 5 (IANS) Real Madrid has defeated Getafe 3-0, thanks in large part to the first-half heroics of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who made three giant stops to keep the Blancos in the contest.

Their first victory after three straight draws late on Saturday lifted Real Madrid to the top of LaLiga, with 40 points. Getafe, with 40 points, are seventh and remain in the hunt for the last two European places, reports Efe news.

Real Madrid found themselves pinned in their own end for the opening minutes as Getafe were ferocious on the high press with a midfield wall comprising Faycal Fajr, Nemanja Maksimovic, Mauro Arambarri and Marc Cucurella.

Yet on the occasions the home side were able to translate their dominance into chances, Courtois was there to deny them.

The Belgian international somehow got his hand to Mauro Arambarri’s thunderous strike from the edge of the area before turning aside a Fajr shot and blocking a header by Leandro Cabrera.

Still sputtering on the attack, the Blancos got lucky in the 34th minute as Getafe keeper David Soria put the ball in his own net while trying to block a cross by Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy.

The own goal took the wind from Getafe’s sails and their hopes of mounting a comeback evaporated just eight minutes into the second half when Raphael Varane headed in a Toni Kroos free kick to put Real Madrid ahead 2-0.

Getafe made late substitutions to bolster their attack, but failed to get a single shot on target in the last 30 minutes, and Luka Modric scored in stoppage time to make the final score 3-0, which flattered a Real Madrid squad that still have work to do.

–IANS

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