Carlo Ancelotti opted to rest most of Real Madrid’s key starters for their trip to face Real Sociedad on Friday, yet still secured a 1-0 victory.


In a match that didn’t showcase their best form, Arda Guler found the back of the net midway through the first half, earning Madrid a crucial win as they continue their pursuit of La Liga glory.


The three points are a welcome boost for Ancelotti, whose primary focus appears to be on Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich.

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Early in the game, Javi Galan’s cross had Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling, but the stand-in goalkeeper made a fine save to deny Take Kubo, as Madrid faced significant pressure in the initial stages.

The visitors took an unexpected lead in the 29th minute when Dani Carvajal’s cross, which should have been cleared by Igor Zubeldia, found its way to Guler, who converted Madrid’s first shot on target.

Sociedad nearly equalized immediately when Kubo scored, but a VAR check revealed that Aurelien Tchouameni had been fouled, nullifying the goal.

Benat Turrientes came close to equalizing early in the second half, but Kepa made another crucial save to deny him.

Sociedad’s attacking threat dwindled around the hour mark, with Madrid content to defend deep and restrict their opponent’s space, despite Sociedad dominating possession.

Although Sociedad found the net again with 17 minutes remaining, Mikel Oyarzabal was ruled offside.

Oyarzabal thought he had scored a valid goal with a delightful chip, but Antonio Rudiger’s header deflected the effort wide.

Sheraldo Becker’s introduction injected some energy into Sociedad, but Madrid maintained their defensive shape and comfortably weathered the late pressure until the final whistle.