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.
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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.
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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.
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