Madrid backups beat Getafe, Benzema rests for Champions League decider

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid’s backups squeezed past Getafe 1-0 on Saturday as most of the frontline players were saved for next week’s Champions League semifinal decider at Manchester City.

Marco Asensio scored the Spanish league game’s only goal in the 70th minute.

Madrid has for several weeks given up on defending the domestic title and instead focused on repeating as Champions League winners and conquering the Copa del Rey. Madrid and City play the second leg poised at 1-1.

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Barcelona can clinch the domestic title on Sunday if it wins at crosstown rival Espanyol. It needs only two of the remaining 15 points in play to win its first league since 2019, and its first major title since Lionel Messi left two seasons ago.

Prioritizing the second leg at City, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti started only four first-choice players in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Éder Militão against relegation-threatened Getafe.

Camavinga exited the match in the final minutes apparently limping. Team doctors looked at his left leg in the dugout.

Karim Benzema, Rodrygo, and David Alaba were left off the squad to ensure they were fully recovered from minor fitness issues, according to Ancelotti. Vinícius Júnior, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos were used as second-half substitutes.

Getafe, which was without suspended top scorer Enes Unal, held an honor guard before kickoff for Madrid winning the Copa del Rey last weekend. The team from a working-class Madrid neighborhood remained in 18th place.


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Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press