Getafe 0-0 Real Madrid
This La Liga meeting prompted me to think of dreams and nightmares.
Because for one minnow of the game, this has been a season of chasing a monumental dream. One that, if it comes true, will provide the La Liga new story of this and many a season.
In complete contrast, for a giant of the game, this campaign has been one to forget.
From the moment they were defeated by their neighbours in the final of the UEFA Super Cup, it has been instantly forgettable and embarrassing for the club.
Throw in an El Clasico humbling which cost Julen Lopetegui his job, followed by a home Champions League humbling to Ajax which ended their three year reign as European champions — and you, us fans, get the picture.
In terms of resources and strength, this was a mismatch. Yet on the pitch, it was anything but.
1X2 Bayern Munchen Under 3.75 @ 2.08 Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.70 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Bundesliga
Highlights of the game
The hosts were without Vitorino Antunes and Djene Dakonam due to injury and suspension, respectively. While Madrid missed the injured duo of captain Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Odriozola.
Recently returned coach Zinedine Zidane did, though, welcome Gareth Bale and Isco back into his starting line-up in the Coliseum.
However, all eyes were elsewhere in the Real team.
Karim Benzema had scored all of the team’s previous eight goals going into this one, and had also an impressive scoring record against Getafe.
The Frenchman had scored three in his last four here and is just two away from matching his best-ever return of 32 in a season.
It was no surprise that the first chance fell to him within the opening 60 seconds as he ran onto Isco’s long pass and dragged his shot wide.
Chances weren’t easy to come by as spirited Getafe matched their millionaire opponents stride for stride, and it wasn’t until nine minutes before the break that Benzema and Casemiro saw dangerous shots cleared.
Leandro Cabrera went close for the home side early in the second period before an important block by Bruno Gonzalez denied Isco a likely goal as Madrid’s chances of closing the gap on second place Atletico Madrid diminished.
It took a fine double save from Keylor Navas – preferred to Thibaut Courtois – to keep out Jorge Molina and Jaime Mata. But still, the deadlock could not be broken.
Indeed, it was the home side which finished stronger and substitute Samuel Saiz possibly saw the morning headlines when he would have been advised to pass to a team-mate, allowing Navas to save.
It didn’t matter as Getafe claimed a point which took them back into fourth spot — who are now six points behind second-placed city rivals Atletico Madrid with four games to go— and into the Champions League places above Sevilla, who had earlier thrashed bottom club Rayo Vallecano 5-0.
Whatever happens in the final weeks of 2018/19, their coach Jose Bordalas has overseen a remarkable campaign.
Getafe manager Jose Bordalas reacts during their 0-0 draw against Real Madrid in La Liga
Indeed, it’s easy to forget that, compared to the illustrious sides around them, Getafe’s record transfer is no more than €5m.
They have just six internationals in their current squad, and the team that started their previous La Liga game was assembled for €19m. In addition, their Coliseum, Alfonso Perez stadium, has a capacity of just 17,000 and rarely draws crowds of more than 12,000.
Whether or not the La Liga 2019 betting odds are overcome, this was the start of a tough run-infor Bordalas to take a club that had been in danger of relegation to the third tier of Spanish football when he first took over, to the brink of Champions League qualification in the space of a little over two-and-a-half years, is nothing short of incredible.
While they dare to dream, Real surely can’t wait for their nightmare season to be over.
Benzema has netted eight goals against Getafe, more than any other opposition in a Madrid shirt.
Before this evening, Real had won their last four LaLiga games at Getafe, as many as in their previous nine games (won four, drawn one, lost four).
Getafe’s stadium is named after a player who never actually played for them, although he did play for Madrid.Alfonso Perez was born in Getafe and played for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real Betis, Marseille and Spain.
Two contrasting seasons are drawing to a close for these two sides.
Both have four La Liga matches remaining.
Getafe visit Real Sociedad next before hosting Girona on May 5.
Madrid are at Vallecano this weekend before welcoming Villarreal at the Bernabeu.
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