Rotated Madrid side beat Getafe ahead of Man City showdown

·3-min read
Marco Asensio scores Real Madrid's opener against Getafe in the La Liga clash on Saturday
Marco Asensio scores Real Madrid's opener against Getafe in the La Liga clash on Saturday

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

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.

Madrid's win saw them climb provisionally second above Atletico Madrid, 11 points behind Barcelona.

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 knee pain sustained in a clash with Juan Iglesias.

Ancelotti said the French midfielder would not take long to recover.

"It's just a hit, it's a bit painful for him," Ancelotti told DAZN, hinting there were no worries ahead of the City match.

"He's 20, he will recover very quickly."

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 half-time, 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.

- Breakthrough -

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.

"I'm trying to take advantage of the chances the coach gives me," Asensio told DAZN.

"We knew that it would be a tough game against a team that is strong defensively."

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.

"The first half was tough, we were better in the second and with Marco's goal it went our way," defender Nacho Fernandez told DAZN.

"Winning is always positive and now we have a very important 'final'."

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