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    Real Madrid strolls past Getafe to close on title

    MADRID — Real Madrid moved a step closer to the LaLiga title after easing past city rival Getafe 2-0 on Saturday thanks to goals from Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez.

    With seven games left, Real extended their lead atop the standings to 12 points over Sevilla and 15 clear of Barcelona, who has two games in hand and face second-bottom Levante on Sunday.

    Casemiro opened the scoring after 38 minutes, diving to head home a brilliant outside of the boot cross from Vinicius, Jr.

    The young Brazilian winger was once again instrumental for Real Madrid, a constant threat to Getafe’s defense who created most of his teams chances from the left flank.

    Totally in control, Real extended their lead in the second half as Vazquez finished coolly with a precise cross-shot after a nice exchange of passes with Rodrygo.

    Getafe, who are four points away from the relegation zone and have only won two of their last eight league games, managed no shots on target.

    “It wasn’t easy, we made it look easy,” Real Madrid captain Marcelo told Movistar Plus.

    The experienced defender was one of several squad players who started as coach Carlo Ancelotti rotated his squad ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea on Tuesday.

    “We ran a lot and played hard until the end,” Marcelo said.

    “Everyone in the locker room needs to feel important, it was nice to see some of us who don’t have many minutes to enjoy themselves in front of our fans. We all have to be ready if needed at the end of the season.”

    One player who did not get a warm reception was Welsh forward Gareth Bale, who came off the bench in the 74th minute to loud booing from the Real Madrid fans for his first appearance at Santiago Bernabeu in more than two years.

    “It’s hard, it happened to many players in this club,” Marcelo said.

    “Fans need to understand that we are all important. We are at the end of the season, we have a lot at stake, we have to help each other, our team mates. We are with him.” — Reuters

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