Ronaldo to the rescue! Cristiano ends goal drought to save misfiring Madrid

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The Portuguese netted for the very first time in the Primera Division in 2017-18 to save Los Blancos from a potentially damaging draw at Getafe

It looked like another frustrating afternoon for Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid. With time ticking away at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Los Blancos were being held to a 1-1 draw by Getafe and the Portuguese had just missed a glorious opportunity. Two more points were slipping away.

Madrid started the day seven adrift of fierce rivals Barcelona in La Liga and Zinedine Zidane's side - in the Frenchman's 100th competitive match as coach - could ill afford to drop any more after disappointing draws at home to Valencia and Levante, and a shock defeat to Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu in recent weeks.

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Luckily, Ronaldo was there to claim all three points. Having fired the wrong side of the post from just a few yards out just minutes earlier, the Portuguese picked himself up from that unbelievable miss to strike the winner with a fine angled drive five minutes from time.

Ronaldo had scored in 10 of his previous 12 league games against Getafe, including three hat-tricks, but the four-time Ballon d'Or winner was without a Primera Division strike to his name heading into this match and is still struggling to find his brilliant best since returning from a five-match domestic suspension.

Zidane Getafe Real Madrid LaLiga

Getafe, however, proved against Barcelona that they can be a tough nut to crack at the Coliseum, the Blaugrana winning their fixture there last month courtesy of an 82nd-minute strike by Paulinho.

Ultimately, Madrid prevailed by the same scoreline, thanks not only to Ronaldo's first league goal of the season (after Jorge Molina had levelled from an offside position for Getafe), but also a maiden Primera Division strike in 2017-18 from the returning Karim Benzema towards the end of an uneventful first period.

Real have had some difficulty in the absence of the French forward, particularly as Spain striker Alvaro Morata is no longer around to deputise following his summer sale to Chelsea, and it was a fantastic finish from the 29-year-old, who drew level with Madrid legend Paco Gento on 182 goals for the club.

While Benzema was out, there is no doubt too that Madrid missed Ronaldo's goals - both during his ban (for pushing the referee in the Clasico clash at Camp Nou in August) and also since his return.

Asensio Benzema Lucas Vazquez Getafe Real Madrid LaLiga

Cristiano Ronaldo Getafe Real Madrid LaLiga

But after 355 minutes without scoring in the Primera Division, his timely intervention on Saturday means Madrid moved to within four points of Barcelona ahead of the Catalans' tough trip to Atletico later on Saturday.

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"It's a difficult ground to come to," Marcelo said afterwards. "Their players are very motivated against us. I don't know if their goal was offside, I am told it was, but it doesn't matter. We were able to read the match and we came through with the win."

Asked about Ronaldo, the Brazilian said: "We know what he can give us during a game. If he doesn't score, he still has a lot of credit. And when we need him to be there, he is."

And he was. Ronaldo's goal drought is over in La Liga and with Benzema back too, Real are capable of making up the early ground they've lost to Barcelona in what promises to be an intriguing title race.