Real Madrid edge past Getafe in La Liga ahead of Champions League clash

Getafe’s Spanish defender Juan Iglesias (L) vies with Real Madrid’s Belgian forward Eden Hazard during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Getafe CF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 13, 2023. AFP

Real Madrid’s backup players secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Getafe in La Liga, with Marco Asensio netting the winning goal in the 70th minute. 

The result highlighted Madrid’s focus on the upcoming Champions League semifinal second leg against Manchester City, as they have already conceded the domestic title to prioritize their European campaign. Barcelona, on the other hand, can clinch the league title if they defeat Espanyol, needing only two more points from the remaining matches.

In the match against Getafe, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti fielded a lineup composed mostly of backup players, with only four regular starters in the team. This decision was aimed at ensuring the key players are fit and rested for the crucial Champions League clash. However, Camavinga, one of the young talents in the team, sustained a knock near the end of the match but Ancelotti expects him to recover quickly.

Ancelotti explained that the absence of Karim Benzema, Rodrygo, and David Alaba from the squad was due to minor fitness concerns. Vinícius Júnior, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos were used as substitutes in the second half. Ancelotti praised the professionalism and seriousness displayed by his players, acknowledging the lack of intensity in the first half but expressing satisfaction with the team’s improvement in the second half.

Getafe, fighting relegation, paid tribute to Madrid’s recent Copa del Rey triumph before the match but remained in 18th place after the loss. Madrid’s Eden Hazard made a rare start, having featured in only one previous league game this season.

The game lacked excitement in the first half, but Madrid’s stars injected energy after coming on as substitutes. Courtois made an impressive save to deny Getafe’s Juan Iglesias, and shortly after, Asensio broke the deadlock with a deflected long-range shot. Asensio, who has primarily made an impact as a substitute this season, is likely to fulfill a similar role in the Champions League match against Manchester City.

In the race for fourth place and a spot in the Champions League, Villarreal closed the gap on Real Sociedad with a 5-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao, courtesy of goals from Alejandro Baena and Nicolas Jackson. Girona, one of the league’s surprise teams, held Real Sociedad to a 2-2 draw, further solidifying their position in seventh place and putting them on track for a berth in the Conference League.

Osasuna bounced back from their Copa del Rey final defeat to Madrid by defeating Almeria 3-1, with Barcelona loanee Abde Ezzalzouli impressing by scoring a goal for Osasuna.

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