Sergio Ramos’ calmly taken penalty gave Real Madrid a narrow 1-0 win over Oghenekaro Etebo’s Getafe and took Los Blancos four points clear at the top of La Liga.
With defending champions Barcelona dropping points in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at home to Atletico Madrid, Real knew a win would swing the title race decisively in their favour.
But Getafe for whom Etebo was unlisted proved an extremely difficult nut to crack, stifling the Real attack and denying the hosts space and chances.
It appeared to be one of those days where Real would fail to capitalise on an advantage in the title race until defender Dani Carvajal won a penalty in the 79th-minute which Ramos scored for his ninth league goal.
Real are now firmly in the driving seat and appear set for a second league title in four years with just five games to go.
Getafe, meanwhile, falter in their bid for Champions League football as they remain sixth, five points off fourth place and must now worry about losing their Europa League spot to seventh-placed Real Sociedad who are two points below them.