MADRID, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Defender Raphael Varane helped Real Madrid to a hard-fought 3-0 win at Getafe on Saturday, their first La Liga victory in four matches, to provisionally go ahead of Barcelona at the top of the standings.
The France defender forced the opening goal for Real in the 34th minute, out-jumping goalkeeper David Soria to meet a cross from Ferland Mendy which rebounded off the keeper into the net for an own goal.
Real were missing captain Sergio Ramos through suspension and were tested to the limits by seventh-placed Getafe at a sold-out Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium and the final scoreline flattered Zinedine Zidane’s side.
It took some top saves from their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to shut out the home side before Varane doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute, heading a Toni Kroos free kick past Soria.
Real went all out for a third goal in the closing stages of the game and Luka Modric netted in the fifth minute of added time to round off the victory after Gareth Bale and Vinicius Jr. had missed clear chances to score.
The win takes Real top of the standings on 40 points after 19 games, one ahead of champions Barcelona in second who visit local rivals Espanyol later on Saturday. (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)