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La Liga: Getafe stun Real Madrid in first match after winter break

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Getafe (Spain), Jan 2 (IANS) Real Madrid suffered a huge setback in the first match of the year as the league leaders went down by a solitary goal against Getafe on Sunday. Playing their first match after the winter break, Real Madrid had many chances to score and Luca Modric hit the crossbar, but the team failed to take any points from the match.

Though the Los Blancos have a huge lead over second-placed Sevilla, who have 38 points from 18 games while Real are at 46 from 20.

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Real Madrid came up short on their trip to Getafe as the La Liga leaders were unable to add to their points tally in the opening game of the new year, as their opponents made the most of an early chance and hung on to take the win.

Real were quickly facing an uphill battle before the ten-minute mark, when Getafe’s Enes Unal robbed Eder Militao on the edge of the box and beat Thibaut Courtois in the resulting one-on-one.

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Luck deserted Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who came within the width of the crossbar to find the back of the net through Modric. With a quarter-of-an-hour gone, Real had a good chance to level the game. Modric’s fierce long-range strike was kept out by Getafe goalkeeper David Soria at full stretch.

Two minutes later, a carefully crafted team move found the Croatian free in the area, but his left-footed effort came crashing back off the bar. Real were beginning to look more likely to score, and another fine chance presented itself with 20 minutes on the clock. Lucas Vazquez sent in a measured cross, where Toni Kroos was on hand to turn a half-volley just wide of the target. From that point on, the hosts tightened up at the back and defended their advantage astutely until the break.

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After the re-start, Ancelotti brought on Hazard and Marcelo Vieira for Marco Asensio and Edouard Mendy.

Getafe continued to defend their lead comfortably, making it difficult for Los Blancos to carve out any chances. In the 57th minute, Modric tried his luck from the edge of the area, but Soria was untroubled and pulled off a comfortable save. The visitors continued to attack and two minutes later they almost found an equaliser. Marcelo, Eden Hazard, and Karim Benzema linked up neatly and the Frenchman’s effort was headed out for a corner by Jorge Cuenca.

Madrid continued to pile on the pressure on the hosts’ defence. In the 70th minute, Marcelo thought he should have had a penalty after being pulled back by Dami├ín and six minutes later Cuenca cleared a cross which fell kindly to Casemiro on the edge of the box but the Brazilian’s effort was met by a superb Soria save.

In stoppage time, Modric fired in a free-kick which was headed goalwards by Isco, but the Getafe shot-stopper was once again there to deny the visitors and the hosts hung on to take the three points.

–IANS

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