FULL TIME: Real Sociedad 0 – 1 Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti handed a rest to most of Real Madrid’s key starters for the trip to Real Sociedad on Friday but still came out with a 1-0 victory.

In what was far from a vintage display, Arda Guler bagged the game’s only goal midway through the first half, firing Madrid one step closer to La Liga glory.

The victory brings a very welcome three points to Ancelotti, whose focus is clearly on Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich.

It was one-way traffic for the first 28 minutes, but minute 29 brought an unlikely lead for the visitors.

Dani Carvajal’s first-time cross should have been cleared by a scrambling Igor Zubeldia, but the ball was allowed to roll through to Guler, who converted Madrid’s first shot on goal to put his side ahead.

Parity was almost restored immediately when Kubo slotted beyond Kepa after Aurelien Tchouameni ceded possession on the edge of his own box, but a VAR check confirmed the Frenchman had actually been fouled and the goal was ruled out.

Sociedad’s spark began to fade around the hour mark, with Madrid happy to sit deep and limit the space available to their hosts, who were still enjoying the majority of the possession at that point.

With 17 minutes to go, Sociedad had the ball in the back of the net once again, but there was no VAR check needed this time as Mikel Oyarzabal had clearly wandered offside before poking the ball into the back of the net.

Oyarzabal thought he’d snatched a valid goal soon after as his delightful dink had Kepa beaten, but Antonio Rudiger’s header deflected the effort wide of the post.

Sheraldo Becker’s introduction off the bench sparked more life into Sociedad but Madrid kept to their shape and weathered the storm pretty comfortably before the final whistle.

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