Real inches closer to La Liga title

Madrid: Captain Sergio Ramos scored a late penalty as Real Madrid secured a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Getafe on Thursday. With its sixth consecutive La Liga victory, Real inched closer to winning the title.

Ramos coolly passed the ball into the net to break the deadlock in the 79th minute after Dani Carvajal was tripped by the trailing leg of Getafe’s Mathias Olivera, who was earlier denied a penalty after being knocked over by the Spanish full-back.

The late strike felt harsh on Getafe, which had squandered a couple of chances to take the lead. But, Zinedine Zidane’s side once again saw out a difficult game to capitalise on Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Real, which has not won the title since 2017, leads the table on 74 points, four ahead of Barcelona with five games left.

It also has a superior head-to-head record over the Catalans, which would give it the trophy if both teams finish the season level on points.

The home side was without joint-record signing Eden Hazard through injury and its fitness troubles continued when defender Raphael Varane was forced off in the first half with a head injury. Brazilian centre-back Eder Militao replaced him.

Real’s neighbour Getafe has a reputation for being one of the toughest teams to break down in the league, which it certainly lived up to.

As a result, the host struggled to carve out many clear chances. Its best effort before the penalty fell to Vinicius Jr, who get on the end of a cross but failed to generate enough power to beat Getafe goalkeeper David Soria.

Real’s Thibaut Courtois made an outstanding early save to repel a deflected shot from Xabier Etxeita and watched on as Jaime Mata fired narrowly over the bar after a giveaway from Ferland Mendy.