BARCELONA, Spain ● Real Madrid moved to within a point of La Liga leaders Barcelona after five of their leading attacking lights got on the scoresheet in a 5-1 thrashing at struggling Getafe on Saturday.
Karim Benzema, Isco, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored as Madrid moved on to 75 points and provisionally ahead of city rivals Atletico, who play Granada on Sunday, when Barcelona host Valencia.
Sporting Gijon remain in the relegation zone, despite ending Las Palmas’s three-game winning streak by coming from behind to draw 1-1, while Real Sociedad failed to build on last week’s win over Barca and lost a controversial Basque derby with Eibar 2-1.
Benzema opened the scoring for Real after 29 minutes by tapping home from close range and then laid on the pass for Isco to double the lead in the 40th.
Bale got the third five minutes after the restart, taking his league tally to 16 goals this season, his best since moving to Madrid in 2013.
Pablo Sarabia pulled one back for Getafe in the 84th when he curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area, but Rodriguez added another for Madrid, before Ronaldo tapped in with the final kick of the game.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said in February that the title race was over, but after watching his side outclass Getafe he was far more optimistic about their chances.
“I think we have a better chance of winning the league because we keep on getting closer,” Zidane told reporters.
“We believe it’s possible and against Getafe we showed from the start that we wanted to do everything right. We played a fantastic game, but now we have to keep going because we still haven’t achieved anything.”
Benzema put them ahead, volleying Rodriguez’s cross into the bottom corner for his 22nd league goal of the season, which surpassed his previous record of 21 goals in the 2011/12 campaign.
The Frenchman, who learned this week that he would not be going to the European Championships with France due to his alleged involvement in a blackmail scandal, played a one-two with Isco to allow the Spanish midfielder to get the second.
Bale grabbed his goal by racing into the area from the right and curling the ball left-footed into the far corner.
Sarabia’s strike was Getafe’s first goal under new coach Juan Esnaider, who replaced Fran Escriba this week.
James scored after dazzling a Getafe defender, and substitute Jese set up Ronaldo to tap in the fifth in stoppage time.
Las Palmas got off to a perfect start against Sporting Gijon when Pedro Bigas headed them in front in the third minute, but Jony levelled for the struggling visitors three minutes after the restart.
Paraguayan striker Antonio Sanabria squandered a glorious chance to give Sporting the lead but missed the target with just goalkeeper Javi Varas to beat.
Sporting are 18th on 29 points, one behind Granada above them.
David Zurutuza gave Real Sociedad the lead at neighbours Eibar after seven minutes with an impressive strike, but Sergi Enrich’s deflected header levelled the scores in the 32nd.
Sociedad’s Markel Bergara had a goal ruled out for offside 13 minutes after the break, but moments later Gonzalo Escalante pounced on an error by goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli to nod into an empty net.
Real Sociedad had an appeal for a penalty turned down in stoppage time when David Junca brought down Carlos Vela.
Eibar moved level on 41 points with Sociedad.