Real make light of Cristiano Ronaldo's absence to draw level at top
February 16, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Karim Benzema was on the scoresheet for Real Madrid in a comfortable away victory at Getafe.
- Real Madrid beat Getafe 3-0 in La Liga
- Draw level on points at top with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona
- Cristiano Ronaldo serving three-game ban
- Jese scores opener in another impressive display
(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo may be suspended for three games but Real Madrid made light of his absence by drawing level at the top of La Liga with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid after a 3-0 away win over Getafe Sunday.
Ronaldo picked up his ban after being sent off against Athletic Bilbao earlier this month, but it has given his ready made replacement Jese Rodriguez the chance to show his qualities.
Jese bears a strong resemblance to Ronaldo with his surging runs and style of play and showed his goalscoring touch after just five minutes as he curled home his fifth goal in six games from Gareth Bale's pass.
We are in the most important part of the season. The mental and physical condition of the players is very good for the upcoming games
It was the perfect start as Jese pushed his claims for a place in Vicente del Bosque's Spanish World Cup squad and he continued to impress.
Read: Messi reaches another milestone
French international Karim Benzema doubled Real's advantage after being presented with the chance from Angel di Maria's fine cross just before the break.
Record signing Bale was shown a yellow card in the first half and also missed a great chance after being set up by Benzema, but Real had plenty in hand against the struggling home side.
Getafe rallied in the second half but could not gain a foothold in the game and their hopes were finally snuffed out by Croatia's Luka Modric.
The midfielder scored the third in the 66th minute as his low shot beat Miguel Angel Moya.
Read: Real reach Copa del Rel final
Gareth Bale meets Real Madrid fans
Julio Iglesias' favorite duets
The three points left Real on 60 points with 14 games still remaining. Barcelona are top on goal difference but their arch-rivals are unbeaten in 24 games in all competitions and have also tightened up in defense.
"Our defensive solidity is very important. At the start of the season we had problems, but now we are more solid, playing with more confidence and look more natural in our play," said manager Carlo Ancelotti.
"I hope this continues because we are in the most important part of the season. The mental and physical condition of the players is very good for the upcoming games."
Defeat left Getafe just four points above the relegation zone after a poor run while in other La Liga action Sunday fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao lost 2-1 at home to Espanyol.
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
Today's five most popular stories