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Modric, Kroos rested as Real Madrid sail past Getafe

MADRID (AFP) – Real Madrid kept Chelsea in mind by resting Luka Modric and Toni Kroos but eased past Getafe 2-0 early yesterday to restore their advantage to 12 points at the top of La Liga.

Casemiro’s header and a smart finish by Lucas Vazquez sealed a comfortable victory for Madrid, who can turn their attention back to finishing the job against Chelsea and reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

“This kind of game can be a trap because after the Champions League, you always lack something physically and mentally, but the team has responded well,” said coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Atletico Madrid will face Manchester City at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday on the back of a limp defeat after they were beaten 1-0 at Mallorca. Atletico also lost 1-0 to City in the first leg in Manchester last week.

Karim Benzema, the hat-trick hero of Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Chelsea, started against Getafe but came off in the 74th minute, departing to a standing ovation which felt like the Santiago Bernabeu crowd paying tribute to his performance at Stamford Bridge.

Gareth Bale came on to make only his second La Liga appearance since August and his first at the Bernabeu since February 2020.

Madrid had gone 20 home games in between without the Welshman, who was whistled by a section of disgruntled supporters.

“Bale is fine, he’s training well and wants to play,” Ancelotti said.

Bale is likely to be back on the bench again for the visit of Chelsea tomorrow night and, despite another dynamic performance from Eduardo Camavinga, the rested Modric and Kroos will surely return to Ancelotti’s midfield in midweek. Neither were even needed off the bench.

Real Madrid’s Casemiro goes for a header against Getafe defenders. PHOTO: AP