Today Wu Lei is a legend for each and every fan of Real Madrid. His late-equalizer against the reigning champions Barcelona helped Espanyol to share points and for which Real Madrid are at the same platform with their arch-rivals – 40 pints each, a scenario, which is ideal for Zinedine Zidane to unleash his true charisma. He relishes such critical junctures during any competitions. It helps him to bring the best out of his men.

Before Espanyol shocked Barcelona, where Frenkie de Jong was shown a red card as well, the Los Blancos faced Getafe to kick-off their new year. The Los Blancos drew three straight league matches prior to the break, including back-to-back games without scoring and in that sense, bagging full points was much needed  – they broke the jinx in the end.

Thibaut Courtois has been a subject of trolling since he arrived in Santiago Bernabeu. Even before he arrived in Real, Courtois was a legend, but at Madrid, his journey has not been chummy until recently he has started to rediscover his mojo – 13 clean-sheets from last 18 matches. On Saturday, he was involved in three world-class saves to save Real’s blushes.

Real Madrid ended their goal-drought run in a pretty bizarre way – David Soria helped the ball into his own net under pressure from Varane. It was an own goal! The own goal undermined Getafe’s fighting display in the first half. Without a doubt, they were far better than the visitors as they continued to press and test the Real backline. The rhythm of Real was hampered and could hardly get out of their own half.

After the first half, Raphael Varane headed Real to give a two-goal advantage. Toni Kroos kicked one from the flank, which curled sharply to land straight into the area where Varane was ready to win the aerial battle. He headed and scored. It required a VAR-checking to confirm the lead and Getafe lost their tempo as the match progressed.

Still, Real’s midfield lacked spark. Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric experienced a tough day as more often the Getafe players ran through them. Zidane brought on Fede Valverde and Vinicius Junior with twenty minutes of play remaining to inject a bit more rhythm. Vini kept the flank busy with his dribbling and pace, while Valverde, yet again, stepped up to marshall the midfield.

Still, Getafe kept in searching for goals, but what Getafe lacked was players who could gift moments of individual brilliance.

Modric – average display until the stoppage time in second half where he unleashed a strong and bursting run down the right flank from Valverde who unselfishly passed the ball to Modric. It was a brilliant finish as Real won by 3-0. The scoreline might mask the average display, but also it conveys the message, you buy big names to produce productive moments on a dull day.

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