Karim Benzema ensured Real Madrid kept the pressure on the Spanish league’s front-runners by scoring one goal and assisting on two more as bottom-side Getafe was defeated 5-1 on Saturday.Madrid, who this week advanced to a Champions League semifinal against Manchester City, provisionally passed Atletico Madrid into second place and moved to within one point of struggling leaders Barcelona.Benzema scored Madrid’s first goal before setting up Francisco “Isco” Alarcon and Gareth Bale to put the result beyond doubt early in the second half.After James Rodriguez made it 4-1, Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off Madrid’s seventh consecutive league victory in stoppage time with his tournament-leading 31st goal.”We are doing our job and are getting closer and closer,” said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, whose team trailed Barcelona by 12 points just four rounds ago. “We are going to bed one point behind, but we can’t look beyond that.”Barcelona will try to end a three-round winless run against Valencia on Sunday, when Atletico will host Granada. Diego Simeone’s side, which eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League quarterfinals this week to advance to a tie with Bayern Munich, trails Barcelona by three points. After this weekend there will be five rounds left.”We have always said that we will never give up,” Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas said. “We have to win our remaining matches and then see what happens.”Also, Celta Vigo needed a late goal from Pablo Hernandez to draw 1-1 with visitor Real Betis, which went ahead through Alfred N’Diaye. The result left Celta’s control of fifth place at risk, with Athletic Bilbao two points behind before visiting Malaga on Sunday.advertisementEibar fought back with goals from Sergi Enrich and Gonzalo Escalante for a 2-1 win at home over Real Sociedad. Eibar’s players celebrated their first win in nine rounds that will likely guarantee the modest Basque club avoids the relegation battle.Sporting Gijon, meanwhile, continued in the drop zone, one point above Levante and Getafe, after drawing at Las Palmas 1-1.Getafe remained winless for a 13th successive match in the debut of coach Juan Esnaider, a former Madrid player who replaced the fired Fran Escriba on Tuesday.”We tried,” said Esnaider, praising his players’ attitude.Despite Getafe’s best effort, Madrid outclassed its crosstown rival.Ronaldo, who hit a hat trick on Tuesday to lead Madrid’s comeback over Wolfsburg in the Champions League, struck the post early, and waves of attacks inevitably led to Benzema’s breakthrough when he used his right foot to sweep in Rodriguez’s cross.The opener was Benzema’s 22nd league goal this campaign, setting a personal record in his seventh season at the Spanish club.Benzema worked a one-two passing combination to help Isco make it 2-0 before halftime, and his pass let Bale romp forward before beating goalkeeper Vicente Guaita in the 50th.Pablo Sarabia got Getafe’s consolation goal with six minutes left before Rodriguez and Ronaldo struck.
Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley waits to snap the ball during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally) Cole, 22, started 51 consecutive games at Michigan. He started his first two seasons at left tackle, switched to center in 2016, then went back to tackle for his senior season. He was the first true freshman in Michigan program history to start a season opener on the offensive line.“He has a proven track to be able to come in and be successful,” Wilks said.The Cardinals have veterans all around Cole to shepherd him through the process, with Pugh and Mike Iupati at guard, D.J. Humphries and Andre Smith at tackle, and Sam Bradford at quarterback, but Cole must get the offense set and make the line calls, traditional roles for a center.“We know what he can bring to the table,” Pugh said. “He’s very smart, he has played in a lot of games, a lot of big games against some really good competition. [We’ve got to] just make sure we communicate — overcommunicate if necessary. I can help him with a little bit of experience. I started Day 1 as a rookie. It’s a different kind of pressure going out there and playing in the NFL vs. playing in college but I know he’s prepared for it.“Mentally is going to be his biggest challenge. For me it was more physical. I was out there playing tackle. I obviously had to know the playbook and know what I had to do. The center has got to know what everyone has to do.” GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals starting center A.Q. Shipley suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Saturday’s Red & White Scrimmage at University of Phoenix Stadium, coach Steve Wilks said Monday. Shipley will miss the rest of the season. Rookie Mason Cole, the team’s 2018 third-round pick (No. 97), will likely replace him, but Wilks said the team could also look outside for help.“Coach [OC Mike] McCoy said it best today,” said guard Justin Pugh, who signed with Arizona as a free agent last spring after five seasons with the New York Giants. “He’s the heartbeat of the offensive line. Definitely tough news to hear from him and knowing everything he has been through throughout his career. It’s an evil of this game. You don’t want to see happen, and when it happens to one of your leaders, it definitely hurts.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “I didn’t watch much Cardinal football last year, playing in the NFL on the East Coast, but when you get into this building you realize who runs things and who does things the right way. A.Q. is one of those guys.”Wilks said it was hard to pinpoint how Shipley got hurt.“It was contact,” Wilks said. “We ran it back about 12, 15 times and really couldn’t see anything malicious or anybody that fell into his leg. I think it really just got caught up in the turf and he was engaged and he said he heard it pop.”Shipley limped off the field and was examined inside a tent on the sidelines for privacy. Teammates D.J. Humphries and Larry Fitzgerald both ducked inside the tent to check on Shipley and Fitzgerald emerged with a look of disappointment on his face. After a few minutes, Shipley exited the tent and was carted off the field to the locker room.Related LinksMRI reveals torn right ACL for Arizona Cardinals center AQ Shipley“Incredibly hard to see a guy like that go down,” said Cole, who had been takings reps at center with the second team. “I learned a lot from him my first few months here and still will learn, but I’m confident I can fill in and hopefully play as good as he has. I think that’s why they drafted me here is if something like this happened. It obviously happened sooner than anyone thought.” 6 Comments Share Cole does not think that playing tackle last season will be a hindrance because he has been playing center with the Cardinals.“Coming from Michigan and [Jim] Harbaugh’s staff and Harbaugh’s offense, that gives me a little bit of an upper hand here, too, just in terms of learning the offense and knowing what to do,” he said. “[I’m] very comfortable with line calls.”Wilks said he noticed how Shipley’s injury deflated the team on Saturday. Both he and Pugh called it a lesson for Arizona.“It happens and I think you have to quickly hit the reset button,” Wilks said. “We’ve got to bounce back. It’s part of the season. It’s part of how things go throughout the year. We’ve just got to keep pressing.”Daniel Munyer and Evan Boehm will rotate second-team reps at center, Wilks said, with Greg Pyke another possibility. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact