Real Madrid move closer to title with win at Real Sociedad


Arda Guler's first-half goal the difference in Real Madrid win

Real Madrid sit multiple starters and go to Real Sociedad and pick up a 1-0 win.

Arda Güler scored to earn a second-string Real Madrid side a 1-0 win at Real Sociedad on Friday, moving the LaLiga leaders a step closer to a record-extending 36th Spanish title.

With five games remaining, Real climbed to 84 points and extended their lead to 14 points over second-placed Barcelona, who have a game in hand and host Valencia on Monday.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Real manager Carlo Ancelotti made nine changes to the team who beat Barca 3-2 on Sunday, resting key players like Jude Bellingham and Toni Kroos ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich and his side did just enough to secure the three points.

"It was clear that everyone thought we were coming here for a walk," Ancelotti told reporters. "The only ones who didn't think so were the players. They had commitment and attitude. They had the desire and enthusiasm to keep winning."

Six-placed Real Sociedad, fighting for a Europa League spot, dominated possession under pouring rain in northern Spain and had a few good chances saved by Real keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The visitors made the most of the only chance they had in the first half, when 19-year-old Turkish midfielder Güler, making his first start for Real after signing from Fenerbahce, turned home Dani Carvajal's cross in the 29th minute.

Three minutes later Takefusa Kubo thought he had scored the equaliser with a tidy finish from close range, but the referee ruled the goal out after spotting a foul in the build-up following a VAR check.

The hosts pushed for an equaliser after the break but had another goal ruled out, a strike from Mikel Merino who was offside, and a shot from the edge of the box by Beñat Turrientes was saved by the inspired Arrizabalaga.

Real Madrid almost ended up extending their lead later on, with Álex Remiro making a brilliant reflex save to deny Eduardo Camavinga's strike from close range.

"We have a spectacular squad. They have this attitude that they feel like they have to win every game. There are four points left to clinch the LaLiga title and we are very close," Ancelotti said.