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Ronaldo double takes Real four points clear

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RONALDO-GETAFE

MADRID, Spain, January 18 – Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off a week where he was named world player of the year for the third time scoring a double as Real Madrid opened up a four-point lead at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 win away to Getafe on Sunday.

The visitors had to wait 63 minutes to make the breakthrough before he fired home Karim Benzema’s pass to set them on the road to victory.

Gareth Bale then doubled the visitors’ lead before Ronaldo rounded off the scoring with a trademark header from James Rodriguez’s cross.

Barcelona can cut Madrid’s lead back to a solitary point when they travel to Deportivo la Coruna later on Sunday.

Perhaps suffering from the after effects of their Copa del Rey elimination to Atletico Madrid in midweek Madrid started sluggishly, but were rarely threatened by a goal-shy Getafe.

The European champions finally started to get going after 20 minutes as Marcelo drove a fierce effort just over on his weaker right foot before Benzema was denied by Jordi Codina.

Isco then tested the Getafe ‘keeper with a piledriver from the edge of the box which Codina did well to turn over and Toni Kroos came even closer a minute before the break when he rattled the crossbar from long range.

Codina continued to frustrate Madrid at the start of the second period with good saves from Benzema and James Rodriguez.

However, his resistence was finally broken just before the hour mark with a brilliant team goal as Isco and Rodriguez combined to free Benzema and the Frenchman produced an exquisite piece of skill on the byline to cut the ball back for Ronaldo to slam home.

Just four minutes later it was 2-0 as this time Rodriguez was the provider with a fine low cross that Bale prodded past Codina with the outside of his left foot.

The winning margin could even have been greater for Ancelotti’s men as Ronaldo outfoxed Codina with a free-kick that whistled inches past the post with the ‘keeper beaten.

Ronaldo wasn’t to be denied his second of the afternoon 11 minutes from time, though, as another sumptuous cross from Rodriguez allowed the Portuguese to plant a firm header past the helpless Codina to register his 36th goal of the season.

Getafe failed to force Iker Casillas into a single save, but did come within inches of a consolation goal when Alvaro Vazquez fired against the post from Alex Felip’s low cross late on.

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