Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe: Gareth Bale nets in opening win for Real
Thibaut Courtois on bench for Real at Bernabeu; Huesca win at Eibar and Sevilla cruise to victory at Rayo Vallecano
Last Updated: 19/08/18 11:40pm
Gareth Bale scored as Real Madrid made a winning start to the La Liga season with a 2-0 victory over Getafe on Sunday.
A Real side shorn of the services of the departed Cristiano Ronaldo, and with summer signing Thibaut Courtois sitting on the bench alongside Luka Modric, Raphael Varane and Casemiro, cruised to victory at the Bernabeu.
Dani Carvajal headed the hosts into a 20th-minute lead with his first league goal since April 2014 and Bale, who had earlier hit the bar, doubled their advantage six minutes after the restart to hand new manager Julen Lopetegui a win in his first league game at the helm.
Madrid started in confident mood and Getafe goalkeeper David Soria had to pull off a fine fourth-minute save to keep out Bale's curling effort, although a late offside flag made his heroics somewhat unnecessary.
Bale, who had scored the club's first La Liga goal of the season in each of the three previous campaigns, only just failed to extend that record when he dived to meet Marcelo's 16th-minute cross, but saw his header hit the crossbar.
However, they did take the lead four minutes later when the Wales international, who had started wide on the right, switched to the left and sent in a teasing cross which debutant Soria could only punch to full-back Carvajal, who looped a header over the keeper and into the empty net.
Real thought they had a chance to double their advantage 11 minutes before the break when referee Javier Estrada pointed to the spot after skipper Sergio Ramos appeared to have been pushed by Damian Suarez as he tried to meet Karim Benzema's cross.
However, Getafe were spared when it was ruled that Benzema had been in an offside position before he had picked out the defender.
Getafe resumed at a much higher tempo as they attempted to deny the hosts time and space, but they contributed to their own downfall within six minutes of the restart after defender Djene Dakonam had been caught in possession by Marco Asensio.
Asensio looked up and squared for the fast-arriving Bale, whose first-time effort beat Soria at his near post despite the keeper getting a hand to the ball.
The post came to Soria's rescue three minutes later after Asensio had let fly following Marcelo's surge into the penalty area, although he saved from the same man on the hour after the Real man had linked up with Benzema.
Bale whistled a curling effort inches past the angle of bar and post with 19 minutes remaining as Lopetegui prepared to bring on Modric, but Getafe very nearly reduced the deficit when Angel only just failed to reach fellow substitute Ivan Alejo's volleyed cross.
Elsewhere, Andre Silva marked his La Liga debut with a hat-trick as Sevilla romped to a 4-1 win at Rayo Vallecano.
Silva had managed just two goals last season for AC Milan and was loaned out to Sevilla this summer.
Franco Vazquez put Sevilla ahead at Rayo in the 15th minute after each side had had goals correctly ruled out for offside without using VAR, and Silva stretched their advantage with two strikes from inside the area before half-time.
Silva completed his hat-trick in the 79th minute with another close-range strike. The goal was originally ruled out for offside but referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz eventually awarded it after consulting the video assistants.
He also used the technology to give Rayo a penalty from which Adri Embarba scored a consolation goal.
La Liga debutants Huesca announced their arrival in the Spanish top flight in style grabbing a 2-1 win away to Eibar, powered by two impressive strikes from midfielder Alex Gallar.