Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Getafe hold Real to goalless draw


Getafe goalkeeper David Soria, second left, clears the ball during their La Liga match against Real Madrid in Getafe, Spain, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Real Madrid’s dreary end to the season took another turn for the worse on Thursday, as they were left holding on for a goalless draw away to Champions League chasers Getafe.

Just 48 hours before Barcelona are set to be celebrating a 26th La Liga title at Camp Nou, Madrid drifted to a stalemate that leaves them 15 points behind the soon-to-be champions with significant ground to make up.

It says something that Getafe were, in the end, disappointed not to win, with Sevilla’s 5-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano de Madrid before kickoff meaning that they stay fourth, only by virtue of a superior head-to-head record.

Real Madrid were mathematically ruled out of the title race after Barcelona beat Deportivo Alaves on Tuesday, while Atletico Madrid also look likely to finish above them for a second consecutive year.

Zinedine Zidane has insisted that La Liga would be the club’s “bread and butter” next season, their priority ahead of the Champions League after seven years with only one league title to their name.

However, they have work to do, with very few of his squad showing many reasons to keep them this summer and several more looking like they could be replaced.

“The shame today is we deserved more,” Zidane said. “We created chances, in the first half especially. I am not happy with the result, but with the way we played, our concentration, I am happy.”

Getafe still have a lot to play for. If they snatch a Champions League spot, it would be one of the greatest shocks La Liga has seen in years, perhaps even trumping Atletico Madrid winning the title in 2013-2014.

Their average attendance is just less than 10,000, while the club’s wage bill stands at a little less than 40 million euros (US$44.56 million).

Madrid’s is close to 570 million euros.

Karim Benzema skewed wide of the far post with 62 seconds on the clock and Madrid hardly created a better chance for the rest of the half.

Gareth Bale started and was greeted by silence rather than the whistles that have accompanied him at the Santiago Bernabeu in the past few weeks, but he looked low on confidence, a shadow of the player he can be.

Bale pulled back for Benzema, who could only find the hands of David Soria on the slide while Casemiro had an instinctive effort blocked from close range.

Getafe were largely untroubled, even if they lacked creativity, their best opening coming from a free-kick that Mauro Arambarri caught, but Keylor Navas was equal to.

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