Tchouameni gives depleted Real Madrid narrow win at Mallorca


Real Madrid edge closer to LaLiga title with 1-0 win over Mallorca

Real Madrid continue their push for the LaLiga title with a narrow 1-0 win over Mallorca.

Aurelien Tchouameni struck early in the second half to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win away at Mallorca in LaLiga on Saturday as they rested key players ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester City.

The win lifted Madrid to 78 points, eight points ahead of bitter rivals Barcelona, whom they host in an El Clasico match at the Bernabeu next weekend.

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"We're aware of where we are in this moment in LaLiga, in the Champions League, each game is like a final," Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said in his post-match news conference.

"Having that advantage is very important ahead of Sunday's game [the Clasico] and that as our objective. I'm very happy, winning here is always difficult. In the second half we played at a very high level."

Aurelien Tchouameni got the only goal for Real Madrid at Mallorca on Saturday.

Tchouameni scored in the 48th minute with a thunderous shot from outside the penalty area that took a deflection in off a defender to leave the goalkeeper lunging at thin air.

Copa del Rey runners-up Mallorca are 15th in the LaLiga standings on 31 points, six clear of the relegation zone.

He used Saturday's match at Mallorca not only to rest key players such as Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo and Toni Kroos, but also to hand starts to Nacho and Antonio Rüdiger. Tchouameni is suspended for the City clash.

Nacho and Rüdiger looked solid against Mallorca in a match Madrid should have won by a bigger margin.

"I haven't rested the players for physical reasons, all the team is fine, only Rodrygo had a knock and wasn't 100% but the rest were fine," Ancelotti added.

"Brahim [Díaz] played a spectacular game, Lucas Vázquez, Luka Modric did very well. Physically the team is fine. We'll win on Wednesday with our attitude, not because of our physical condition."

Jude Bellingham had the best chance in a dour first half when his shot bounced off the crossbar.

After Tchouameni scored, Madrid wasted several chances to extend their lead, which included Díaz missing a sitter from close range.

Ancelotti equaled Zinedine Zidane with 183 league games coached for Madrid, second only to Miguel Muñoz's record 424 league games.

"The team has been very consistent, what we've done is be consistent and very solid, we haven't always played well but the team has always competed in every game," Ancelotti added.

"Everybody talks about individual quality, which is true, we have a squad with a lot of quality, but the more quality you have, the harder it is to find commitment."

Information from ESPN's Alex Kirkland, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.