Spanish forward Joselu scored twice to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win at local rivals Getafe on Thursday, propelling them back to the LaLiga summit, two points ahead of surprise package Girona.
Real had a game in hand after their match against Getafe was postponed due to the Spanish Super Cup and they did not waste the opportunity to reclaim top spot with a solid performance.
They dominated from the start and Joselu netted a towering header from Dani Carvajal’s cross in the 14th minute to put the visitors ahead.
He had a great chance to extend Real’s lead in the 38th minute, but his shot was saved one-handed by goalkeeper David Soria.
Already missing regulars including goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defenders David Alaba and Eder Militao, Real manager Carlo Ancelotti suffered another setback when centre back Antonio Rudiger did not return after the break due to a leg injury.
Mason Greenwood almost levelled for Getafe in the 51st minute when his strike from the edge of the box hit the post.
Joselu extended Real’s lead five minutes later, slotting home a low strike assisted by a fine pass from Vinicius Jr.
He could have completed his hat-trick when he burst through following a quick counter-attack, but tried to set up Vinicius who chipped the ball straight at Soria from close range.
Soria made fine saves from Federico Valverde and Vinicius and Getafe could have reduced the deficit after Borja Mayoral took advantage of a mistake but Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin made a brilliant save to deflect his point-blank strike on to the post.
Real moved to 57 points, two ahead Girona and 10 clear of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. The leaders host Atletico on Sunday and Girona six days later in games that will be crucial in the LaLiga title run-in.
“If we win the next two games we will have six more points and that will be good,” Ancelotti told a press conference.
“Let’s hope we can count on Rudiger (for Sunday’s derby), I think he can recover. We have two days to try to get him back, it’s a strong blow to the thigh.”