Real Madrid rests starters in 4-0 rout of relegated Granada with focus on Champions League final

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid’s backups eased to 4-0 win at the relegated Granada on Saturday as Carlo Ancelotti rested most of his top players to avoid costly injures before the Champions League final.

Defender Antonio Rudiger was the only first-choice player who Ancelotti started for a Spanish league game that was inconsequential for either side.

Madrid clinched its 36th Spanish league title last weekend. It is now fully focused on the European final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1 in London after eliminating Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Granada didn’t have much to play for either after Mallorca’s 1-0 win at Las Palmas meant the team from southern Spain was relegated. Granada is in 19th place and joins bottom side Almeria in going to the second division. Cadiz is in danger of becoming the third team to drop.

Little used left back Fran García scored and assisted Turkish teenager Arda Guler in the first half. Brahim Díaz made his case for some playing time in the title game against Dortmund after the creative forward scored two second-half goals.

Thibaut Courtois was back in goal for his second appearance of the season after he recovered from an ACL tear and a knee injury. Ancelotti said on Friday he has yet to decide if Courtois or Andriy Lunin, who has played most of the season, will be his pick against Dortmund.

Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga, players with real chances to see minutes in the Champions League final, also started.

“My goal is to arrive to the final with the entire team in peak form, and I think we will do that,” Ancelotti said.

Ancelotti and Madrid players will celebrate their league title with supporters in central Madrid on Sunday.


Fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao needed an added-time goal against visiting Osasuna to salvage a 2-2 draw, dropping points in its fight for a top-four finish and Champions League berth.

The Copa del Rey champion was five points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid before it hosts Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Asier Villalibre equalized for Athletic on one of the last kicks of the game when Osasuna goakeeper Sergio Herrera spilled a cross after colliding with a teammate.


Alexander Sorloth scored his second goal with a stoppage-time header to snatch Villarreal a 3-2 comeback win over Sevilla.

The victory kept alive Villarreal’s chances of catching Real Betis in seventh place and the Europa Conference League spot.


AP soccer:

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