Karim Benzema proved decisive yet again for Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane's side took advantage of Atletico Madrid's slip-up by beating Getafe 2-0 in LaLiga.
After a run of four league matches against Getafe without being directly involved in a goal, Benzema headed Madrid in front an hour into Tuesday's clash.
In a match of few clear-cut opportunities, Benzema had previously gone close to breaking the deadlock when he hit the bar 14 minutes in.
Ferland Mendy made sure of what could prove a valuable victory, given city rivals and LaLiga leaders Atleti were pegged back late on and could only draw with Celta Vigo on Monday.
Madrid relied on Raphael Varane to snatch a late winner at Huesca last time out but aimed to make a fast start this time around – Casemiro blazing over from point-blank range before Benzema's header struck the crossbar.
Los Blancos saw just under 70 per cent possession in the first half, yet ultimately their only shot on target came when Luka Modric forced David Soria into an awkward stop.
Soria was called into action much sooner in the second half, making himself big to deny Benzema from a tight angle.
A neat passage of play from Getafe saw Marc Cucurella get into a similar position down the other end, yet the former Barcelona man's touch let him down.
Getafe were duly punished – Benzema making no mistake on this occasion as he directed Vinicius Junior's pinpoint cross beyond Soria.
It was 2-0 six minutes later, Marcelo drilling a low left-wing cross to the front post, with Mendy on hand to turn home his first LaLiga goal of 2020-21.
Benzema curled wide soon after, but Getafe never came close to testing Thibaut Courtois as Madrid cruised to a routine triumph.
What does it mean? Advantage Atleti, but Madrid within touching distance
This was a confident display from Madrid as they claimed back-to-back wins for the first time in 2021, and the success takes them to just five points behind Diego Simeone's LaLiga leaders.
However, Atleti still have two games in hand, which could well prove crucial, while this fixture also means that Los Blancos have played a game more than third-placed Barca, who are three points behind.
Benzema back among the goals thanks to Vinicius link-up
So often in recent seasons, Benzema has had to take the responsibility of leading Madrid's attack onto his own shoulders, but he had Brazilian winger Vinicius to thank for a sublime assist on Tuesday.
Vinicius has assisted Benzema four times across all competitions, with the 20-year-old having teed up no team-mate on more occasions since he joined Madrid. It was also Benzema's fifth headed goal of the season, with no LaLiga player having scored more that way this term.
Blunt Getafe get what they deserve
It may seem harsh to criticise a team for losing at Madrid, but this particular incarnation of Los Blancos is far from the formidable editions of past seasons, yet Getafe could hardly lay a glove on Zidane's team.
Indeed, they managed just one attempt all game, with Courtois not having to make a single save, claim or punch, and Getafe have now lost 23 of their 31 LaLiga meetings with Madrid.
Madrid host Valencia on Sunday, while Getafe welcome Real Sociedad to Coliseum Alfonso Perez.