MADRID (REUTERS) - Real Madrid ended a turbulent week off the pitch on a high when Karim Benzema struck twice and Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale scored a goal apiece in a 4-1 victory over Getafe in La Liga on Saturday.
Real’s dominant win at the Bernabeu lifted them above Atletico Madrid into second for a couple of hours but Atletico responded with a 2-0 success at Granada thanks to goals from Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann.
Atletico are second, a point behind leaders Barcelona before the champions’ match at Valencia later on Saturday, with Real a further two points adrift in third.
Real were expelled from the King’s Cup on Friday after fielding an ineligible player in Wednesday’s last 32, first leg at third-tier Cadiz, the latest setback in a difficult few weeks for the world’s richest club by income.
Hammered 4-0 at home by bitter rivals Barca last month, Real needed a strong performance against city neighbours Getafe to relieve the pressure on coach Rafa Benitez.
Benitez, who took over from the sacked Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season, was roundly whistled when his name was read out with the team lists before kickoff and there were more chants during the game calling for president Florentino Perez to step down.
France forward Benzema, whose legal problems have been another of Real’s off-field distractions, opened the scoring in the fourth minute when he volleyed in Pepe’s cross.
Benzema, who is under investigation over his alleged involvement in an attempt to blackmail France team mate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex video, added a second in the 16th minute with a low shot into the corner.
Bale made it 3-0 in the 35th after being set up by Ronaldo, who put Real out of sight against a woeful Getafe when he finished off a swift break three minutes later.
The afternoon marked the first time this season Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo, collectively known as “BBC”, have scored in the same La Liga game.
Real eased off in the second half and Getafe defender Alexis Ruano pulled a goal back at a 70th-minute corner, prompting more whistles directed at their own team from some sections of the home crowd.
“The first half was a demonstration of the potential this team has,” Benitez told a news conference.
“The team controlled the game. They dropped the level of intensity (in the second half) because the work was done.”