Gareth Bale’s home debut for Real Madrid was postponed as the world record signing damaged a hamstring in warm up but his side hardly seemed to miss him as they beat Getafe 4-1 in the Spanish La Liga.
Bale had been on the team-sheet for the game on Sunday, but left the pre-game warm up early and was then replaced by attacking midfielder Isco in the Madrid starting 11, reports Xinhua.
The club have yet to confirm how long the winger will be out of action, but he is unlikely to be fit for Wednesday’s trip to play recently promoted Elche.
Madrid fans looking forward to seeing Bale’s debut were in for another disappointment after 12 minutes after Cristiano Ronaldo lost the ball and stopped, asking for an inexistent foul. The ball dropped to Getafe’s Angel Lafita whose shot from outside of the area was deflected past the helpless Diego Lopez and the visitors took the surprise lead.
Fortunately for the 70,000 fans in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, that was as bad as it got for Madrid, who were soon level after Ronaldo found space following a set piece.
Although his shot was blocked, it fell to Pepe, who merely had to push the ball over the line from close range to make it 1-1.
Madrid were ahead before the break when Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot after Getafe midfielder Michel stuck his arm out in a defensive wall at a free kick.
Getafe were having problems defending Madrid’s set pieces and Ronaldo’s quick free kick made it 3-1.
Isco has been in fine form since joining Real Madrid and has already scored four league goals this season and his impact contrasts with that of Karim Benzema, who had another poor day in the Bernabeu with another series of missed chances.
Getafe were reduced to 10 men in the closing minutes after Michel was sent off for dangerous play and Ronaldo took advantage of his side’s numerical advantage to add a fourth goal with a lovely back-heel in what turned out to be the last kick of the game.