MADRID (REUTERS) - Liga champions Real Madrid beat Getafe 3-1 on Saturday (March 3) with a goal from Gareth Bale and two strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo to provisionally go 12 points behind leaders Barcelona and warm up for next week's Champions League game at Paris St Germain.
Bale lashed in the opening goal in the 24th minute from inside the area at a sparsely attended Santiago Bernabeu, while Ronaldo stretched Zinedine Zidane's side's advantage in injury time of the first half after a through ball from Karim Benzema.
The Portuguese moved on to 16 league goals for the season by heading in a cross from Marcelo in the 78th minute to restore Real's two-goal cushion after Francisco Portillo had pulled back a goal from the penalty spot for Getafe.
Former Chelsea forward Loic Remy was sent off for Getafe two minutes into the second half for a second yellow card after striking Real defender Nacho Fernandez in the face.
Bale overtook David Beckham as the British player with the most appearances in La Liga by playing his 117th game for Real but missed a clear chance in injury time after being played in by a stunning pass by Marco Asensio.
Real are third in the Liga standings on 54 points after 27 games.
Barcelona, who have 66, host second-placed Atletico Madrid in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday, when Diego Simeone's side can reduce the gap behind the leaders to two points with a victory.