Real Madrid eke out 1-0 win over Getafe

Sports Desk, May 13 (EFE).- A deflected strike from Marco Asensio with 20 minutes left in regulation was enough Saturday for Real Madrid to beat 18th-place Getafe 1-0 and go second in LaLiga.

The defending champions improved to 71 points, 2 better than capital rivals Atletico Madrid, away on Sunday to already relegated Elche.

With the domestic title out of reach, as they trail leaders Barcelona by 11 points, Real Madrid’s main focus is on the Champions League, where their chances of lifting the trophy for a record-extending 15th time are riding on the outcome of next Wednesday’s semifinal second leg against Manchester City.

The sides drew 1-1 last week in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, setting the stage for a decisive clash at the Etihad.

Given the stakes, nobody was surprised to see Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti make eight changes from the lineup that faced City at midweek.

And the first half delivered the kind of football that could be expected from a sub-heavy 11 and a side in the drop zone who were missing their best striker, the suspended Enes Unal.

Ancelotti made a change to start the second half, replacing Ferland Mendy with Toni Kroos, and when Real Madrid won a free kick at the hour mark, he made a triple-substitution, sending in Vinicius Jr., Luka Modric, and Mariano Diaz.

Getafe mounted their only serious threat of the night in the 67th minute, a blast by Juan Iglesias that forced a fine stop from Thibaut Courtois.

Three minutes later, Asensio’s shot took a fortunate deflection off Nemanja Maksimovic and past keeper David Soria into the Getafe goal.

Vini Jr. put the ball in the net in the 76th minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside, while Soria denied Asensio’s bid for a brace in the 79th.

EFE jap/dr

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