Rotated Madrid side beat Getafe ahead of Man City showdown

football13 May 2023 21:19| © AFP

Real Madrid warmed up for their decisive Champions League semifinal visit to face Manchester City with a 1-0 win over Getafe on Saturday in LaLiga.

The champions' slim victory ensured leaders Barcelona must beat city rivals Espanyol on Sunday in Cornella to be able to clinch the title this weekend.

Marco Asensio broke the deadlock in the 70th minute with a deflected strike from distance, in a game of few chances which did not get pulses racing.

Carlo Ancelotti rotated heavily to keep his key players fresh ahead of the second leg battle with Pep Guardiola's City, following the 1-1 draw last Tuesday in Madrid.

Ancelotti lined up with just three of the side that started the first leg – goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Eduardo Camavinga and Fede Valverde.

However Camavinga limped off in the final stages with a knee problem sustained in a clash with Juan Iglesias.

The most excitement Madrid supporters had in the first half was the team presenting the Copa del Rey trophy they won last weekend in Seville to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Beyond that the opening period was devoid of action at either end, with Belgian forward Eden Hazard looking unsurprisingly flat on his first league start since September.

A forgotten man at Madrid since his failed move from Chelsea in 2019, the 32-year-old winger showed no signs of life.

Ancelotti, disgruntled by his team's lacklustre display, brought on midfielder Toni Kroos for Ferland Mendy at halftime, moving Camavinga to left-back.

Getafe striker Borja Mayoral headed over when well-placed, letting his former side off the hook, and Madrid forward Asensio flashed a shot narrowly wide from distance.

Ancelotti sent on Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric to cheer up supporters and try to find a winner to keep his team's morale high ahead of the impending visit to Manchester.

Courtois produced a fine save to deny Iglesias from distance as Getafe hunted for points vital for their survival hopes.

However Asensio sent Madrid ahead with 20 minutes remaining when his shot from 20 yards deflected off Nemanja Maksimovic and past the helpless David Soria.

Vinicius tucked home a second for Madrid with a neat finish but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Asensio almost doubled his tally with a header from Kroos' fine cross but Soria pulled off an impressive save to deny him.

Camavinga hobbling off towards the end and needing to ice his knee was Madrid's one concern ahead of the clash with City on Wednesday.

The defeat leaves Jose Bordalas' Getafe 18th, in the relegation zone, level on points with Valencia, 17th, who visit Celta Vigo on Sunday.