Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe: LaLiga Santander result, goals
Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale were on target as Real marked Julen Lopetegui's first LaLiga game in charge with a comfortable win over Getafe.
Real Madrid vs Getafe: match report
A win. A good performance. Plenty of positives to build on. Lopetegui can sleep well tonight.
The first half came and went in the way that many had predicted. Getafe gave up possession - something they made an art of last season in their return to the Spanish top flight - and tried to snuff out the danger as Madrid attacked. It worked to an extent but there were enough signs of the defence being breached as the hosts used all their creative and forward options to get their opponents on the back foot. In the 16th minute, a delightful inswinging cross from Marcelo was met with the diving header of Gareth Bale which smashed into the crossbar. It was coming.
Then, 19 minutes in, a deflected delivery from Gareth Bale, again from the left, was half punched clear by David Soria and, while he was left stranded, Dani Carvajal headed a perfectly weighted ball back over the goalkeeper and into the empty net.
From there the control remained with Lopetegui's side, Getafe staying organised but occasionally being caught out in the channels. There was plenty of fluidity between the front three, combining well with Isco and Ceballos behind, but creating clear chances was still proving difficult and the whistle blew with just the one-goal lead.
Getafe came out with a change in appraoch after the break. Immediately they were hunting down the ball in Madrid's half in packs, not with isolated ineffectiveness as had been the case before. It was a brave move from Pepe Bordalás, but within five minutes of the restart, Los Blancos profited from the extra space that had been vacated. Marco Asensio - involved all through the night - harried the last man and won the ball back on the edge of the Getafe area. He shimmied and delivered a low cross which was met by his Welsh teammate at the back post. Although well struck, Soria will be disappointed not to have kept it out.
Asensio hit the post from distance and some other half chances were created as the second half moved to a conclusion that was written from early on in this match. A comfortable enough start to the season for Lopetegui. More attacking threats will be endured in the coming games but very, very late on Sunday night in the Spanish capital, his first job was completed satisfactorily.
Real Madrid vs Getafe: live online - how it happened
Real Madrid vs Getafe: live online - preview
The kings are dead. Long live the...
This would have been an ideal introduction for what has happened over a tumultuous summer at the Santiago Bernabéu. The loss of manager Zinedine Zidane, shortly followed by the exit of their talisman over the last decade, Cristiano Ronaldo, has left a void both on the field and on the sidelines. And the problem is, no one is entirely sure if there are men to fill their sizeable shoes.
Julen Lopetegui steps into the managerial role with an unusually large burden already weighing him down. Not only does he have to live up to the standards set by his predecessor (just a triple-Champions League winner and Liga title to boot) but he has seen his perceived two rivals - Barça and Atlético - strengthen while, most would argue, his side has not. Add to that the finger-wagging disapproval from many Spaniards after the World Cup shambles, and tonight's opening game is seen as a must-win affair.
Getafe, for their part, could well be delighted to start their season away to the European champions of the last three campaigns. There is no pressure, other than that of their own professional making, on Pepe Bordalás' side, and there is little to suggest that their style of play will vary much from that of their last campaign, one that saw them finish a very respectable eighth. Having the ball is not their aim; preventing the opposition from doing damage is.
The third team of the Madrid region (newly promoted Rayo are looking to change that) conceded fewer goals than their significantly more illustrious neighbours last year, with only the top two sides bettering their meanness. They'll not have to worry about the Portuguese goal-machine tonight.
We will be building up to the game from around an hour before kick-off, bringing you all the team news, stats and further thoughts on what to expect...like that's ever easy to know!