Karanka: Ronaldo's ankle treatment merely a precaution

Aitor Karanka - Real Madrid

Goal.com / Shinichiro Ema

Aitor Karanka has dismissed worries about Cristiano Ronaldo’s fitness, saying that ice was applied to the Real Madrid player’s ankle merely as a precaution.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Madrid’s 4-0 win over Getafe, netting in the 62nd, 65th and 72nd minute after Sergio Ramos opened the scoring shortly after half-time.

And Karanka pointed out that Ronaldo’s performance should remove any doubts about his fitness.

“[We used] ice as a precaution and we haven’t removed it. His performance is there for all to see. Just look at the goals he scored,” he told reporters.

Antonio Adan kept a clean sheet in the first match since Iker Casillas’ injury, and the goalkeeper was delighted to see Ronaldo return to aid Madrid’s second-half improvement.

He said: “I didn’t have much to do and I’m happy with my performance. We were sluggish with our play in the first half but we still had chances.

“In the second half, we put right everything that we failed to do initially. Their goalkeeper was the man of the match.

“It’s pretty cool to have Cristiano on the pitch again. He returned to score three goals and he’s the best. His fitness is superb.”

Real Madrid sit third in the table on 43 points after Sunday’s victory.

Real Madrid 4-0 Getafe: Ronaldo hat-trick leads second-half surge

An impressive performance after the break from Real Madrid saw them romp to a 4-0 derby victory over Getafe in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu, with all four goals being scored in the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his scintillating form with a well-taken hat-trick that takes his tally in the league this season to 21, after Sergio Ramos had opened the goalscoring for the home side.

Jose Mourinho appeared to have one eye on the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona this coming Wednesday as he rested players for this game, and it was only after Sami Khedira was introduced at half-time that los Merengues clicked.

Ronaldo looked the most dangerous player on the pitch in the opening half an hour, and twice came close to scoring only to be thwarted by Getafe’s goalkeeper Miguel Moya.

Madrid continued to dominate possession as the first half wore on but did look susceptible on the break, as Diego Castro and the former Castilla player Pablo Sarabia stretched los Blancos’ experienced back-line on more than one occasion.

Mourinho decided to change things at the interval after Madrid failed to score in the first half, as Khedira came on for Raul Albiol which resulted in Essien dropping into right-back and Ramos moving inside to centre-back.

The switch in personnel seemed to do the trick for the home side, as they took the lead in the 53rd minute through Ramos. The Spain international bundled home a corner after Moya failed to claim the cross, with the Getafe goalkeeper undoing some brilliant work moments before when he made a fabulous double-stop from Khedira and Angel Di Maria.

Madrid, looking a completely different side following the break, and went 2-0 up thanks to a blistering counterattack that was clinically finished by Ronaldo. The former Manchester United man hammered a shot low under Moya and into the bottom-right corner of the net having sprinted 70 yards to support Ozil and receive the ball on the edge of the Getafe box.

Within three minutes of that goal Ronaldo added a third. The Portuguese attacker’s 20th league goal of the season came in the form of a close-range header after Di Maria had dinked an inviting cross to the back post which pulled Moya out of position.

In the 72nd minute Ronaldo completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot to make it 4-0 to Madrid, after Luka Modric had been fouled in the area by Alberto Lopo.

Madrid are now unbeaten in 22 matches at home in the league, but still trail Barcelona this season by 12 points.

Cartoon of the Day: Mourinho tries to make his birthday wish come true

Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself in Spain at the moment.

Not only are his Real Madrid side all but certain to surrender the Liga title they won from Barcelona last season – languishing 15 points behind the Catalans – but earlier this week Madrid daily Marca reported that Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos have threatened to leave Santiago Bernabeu in the summer if their boss is allowed to remain.

But it’s not all bad for the Special One. Club president Florentino Perez has come out and backed his manager until the summer, leaving Mourinho free to celebrate his 50th birthday with some degree of peace, and contemplate how to salvage a turbulent season by winning the third Champions League crown of a stellar coaching career.

Mourinho tries to make his birthday wish come true

Real Madrid players show Casillas support with pre-game shirts

Real Madrid players showed their support for injured skipper Iker Casillas ahead of their game against Getafe.

The club captain has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken thumb, which was acquired in the Blancos most recent clash with Valencia on Wednesday night.

Madrid’s official Twitter handle revealed ahead of Sunday morning’s Liga match that the players would be wearing shirts to support the Spain international goalkeeper.

The shirts worn by Casillas’ team-mates had the words ‘Animo Iker’ printed on, which translates as ‘Get well soon Iker’.

Shot-stopper Diego Lopez was signed from Sevilla by Jose Mourinho following the injury to his skipper, and he was named on the bench for their Getafe clash, with Antonio Adan favoured to start.

Casillas’ absence means Madrid will need to rely on Adan or Lopez in their Champions League last 16 legs against Manchester United.

TEAM NEWS: Essien & Modric start for Real Madrid against Getafe as Khedira & Alonso are rested

Real Madrid make changes to the side that secured a place in the Copa del Rey semi-final with a 1-1 second leg draw against Valencia on Wednesday, as Michael Essien and Luka Modric start in midfield.

Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso are the players that make way for Essien and Modric, while in defence Sergio Ramos plays at right-back and Ricardo Carvalho partners Raul Albiol in the middle of a back four.

Los Blancos are without their No. 1 goalkeeper Iker Casillas after he broke his thumb during the most recent game against Valencia, while Pepe remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

New signing from Sevilla, Diego Lopez, is named on the bench for Madrid with Antonio Adan chosen to start this league fixture.

The visiting side line up in a 4-5-1 formation, as Adrian Colunga plays the role of lone striker. A former Madrid academy player Pablo Sarabia starts in midfield for Luis Garcia’s side, while the club’s top Liga scorer, Diego Castro, returns from suspension.

The side are without Medhi Lacen and Abdel Barrada, who are both at the Africa Cup of Nations representing Algeria and Morocco respectively.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):
Adan; Ramos, Carvalho, Albiol, Coentrao; Essien, Modric; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain.

Subs: Lopez, Varane, Khedira, Benzema, Alonso, Marcelo, Callejon.

Getafe (4-2-3-1): Moya; Valera, Lopo, Alexis, M. Torres; Castro, Sarabia, Borja, Gavilan, X. Torres; Colunga

Subs: Codina, Alvaro, Alcacer, Rafa, Michel, Fraile, Diego Benito.