Courtois 9/10 as Real Madrid fail to beat Getafe and keep pace in tight La Liga title race

Is this the end of Real Madrid's title challenge? (1:26)

ESPN FC's Julien Laurens highlights Real Madrid's squad issues after a 0-0 draw vs. Getafe. (1:26)

A goalless draw at Getafe on Sunday night saw Real Madrid fall three points behind rivals Atletico at the top of the La Liga table with seven games remaining.

Hosts Getafe performed well, creating chances throughout. Thibaut Courtois saved early on from Mathias Olivera, while at the other end, Mariano Diaz had a goal ruled out for offside after rounding goalkeeper David Soria. Mauro Arambarri shot wide, Jaime Mata hit the post and Mariano went close to scoring again when his header was cleared off the line, before Vinicius Junior had a header saved.

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After the break, Courtois kept the visitors in the game when he got a hand to a shot from forward Enes Unal, and again to keep out a deflected effort from Nemanja Maksimovic, while Madrid were unable to put Getafe under any sustained pressure.


Madrid went into this match with an incredible list of absentees -- Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Nacho Fernandez, Lucas Vazquez and Eden Hazard were all unavailable for one reason or another -- and a squad patched up with reserve team kids. They managed to avoid defeat, at least. Coach Zinedine Zidane warned that the squad are "physically at the limit" last week, and this was a night to bear that out.

The youngsters who came in didn't let the team down -- especially defender Victor Chust, 21, who is a real prospect. They may be needed again between now and the end of the season as Madrid battle Atletico and Barcelona for the La Liga title.


Getafe dominated this match, with a total of 19 shots, six of them on target, as well as hitting the woodwork. On a day that Atletico were able to win in style, Madrid could have done with a similar outcome although under the circumstances, a draw here wasn't a disaster. However, it remains to be seen how the team will cope with the busy calender coming up -- with a midweek league game against Cadiz on Wednesday followed by Real Betis at the weekend, and then the challenge of Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Despite that lengthy injury list, Zidane still took the bold decision to rest Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema. That meant Marco Asensio had to drop into midfield, while Mariano got a rare start up front. The coach may have had few options to choose from, but that doesn't entirely excuse the number of chances Getafe created here, and his substitutions didn't appear to help the team much, either.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Thibaut Courtois, 9 -- Madrid's best player by some distance. Made a good first-half save from Olivera and then even better ones from Unal and Maksimovic after the break.

DF Alvaro Odriozola, 6 -- Clearly not trusted by Zidane given the coach's preference for an out-of-position Fede Valverde against Liverpool. Crossed well to give Vinicius a free header in the first half, but was a defensive liability.

DF Eder Militao, 8 -- Looked unexpectedly rock-solid against Liverpool and Barcelona, and did well here as the senior man alongside Chust. Could have given away an early penalty with a clumsy challenge, but later did really well to race back to dispossess Arambarri.

DF Victor Chust, 7 -- An impressive, composed young talent who didn't look at all overawed on his first league start.

DF Marcelo, 7 -- Lacks Mendy's solidity in defence, but provided some dangerous deliveries from the left.

MF Luka Modric, 7 -- Dropped back to form a "double pivot" in midfield with Isco, with Casemiro suspended. Somehow still looks to have some gas in the tank.

MF Isco, 7 -- Had the unenviable task of filling in for Kroos in midfield. Hasn't done too badly when he's come into the team recently, but is still far from the player he once was.

MF Marco Asensio, 7 -- Played a more central role than usual, which allowed him to be more involved in play.

FW Vinicius Junior, 6 -- His stock has never been higher, but this was a step down from some recent eye-catching performances. Had a first-half header saved when he could have done better.

FW Rodrygo, 5 -- Quiet and showed why he's fallen well behind Vinicius and Asensio in the pecking order.

FW Mariano Diaz, 6 -- His first start in six weeks. Denied an early goal -- which he took extremely well -- by the offside flag, and then had a headed effort cleared off the line.


FW Karim Benzema, 6 -- Played the last half-hour as Madrid looked for a goal, but couldn't provide one despite his recent blistering form.

MF Antonio Blanco, 6 -- Made his debut replacing Rodrygo to reinforce the midfield.

FW Sergio Arribas, NR -- Came on for Asensio to make his seventh league appearance off the bench.