Bengaluru, July 3: Skipper Sergio Ramos held his nerve to score a late penalty and help Real Madrid earn a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Getafe for a sixth consecutive La Liga victory to take his side one step closer to winning the title.
Ramos coolly passed the ball into the net to break the deadlock in the 79th minute after Dani Carvajal was felled by the trailing leg of Getafe's Mathias Olivera, who was earlier denied a penalty after being knocked over by Carvajal.
The late strike felt harsh on Getafe, who had squandered a couple of chances to take the lead, but Zinedine Zidane's side once again saw out a difficult game to capitalise on Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid in the mid-week.
Real, who have not won the title since 2017, lead the table on 74 points, four ahead of Barcelona with five games left and have a superior head-to-head record over the Catalans which would give them the trophy if both teams finished the season level on points.
"It was like a final for us and that's how we approached it," said Real's Dani Carvajal.
Real Madrid were without joint-record signing Eden Hazard through injury and their fitness troubles continued when defender Raphael Varane was forced off in the first half with a head injury. Eder Militao replaced him.
Real's neighbours Getafe have a reputation for being one of the toughest teams to break down in the league which they certainly lived up to and Madrid struggled to carve out many clear chances.
Their best effort before the penalty fell to Vinicius Jr, who busted a gut to get on the end of a cross but failed to generate enough power to beat Getafe keeper David Soria.
Real's Thibaut Courtois made an outstanding early save to repel a deflected shot from Getafe's Xabier Etxeita and watched on as Jaime Mata fired narrowly over the bar after a giveaway from Madrid defender Ferland Mendy.
Real coach Zidane said his side used their team spirit to earn the hard-fought three points.
"We can be very happy today because we did an incredible job against a side who caused us loads of problems, but we got the victory because of our team spirit," Zidane told a virtual news conference.
(With inputs from Agencies)