La Liga

Madrid draws with Betis with likely starters for Champions League final and Kroos says farewell

Madrid draws with Betis with likely starters for Champions League final and Kroos says farewell

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid drew with Real Betis 0-0 on Saturday in its last warmup game before facing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions league final.

Madrid wrapped up the Spanish league title three weeks ago, and since then coach Carlo Ancelotti has rotated his lineups to rest his starters. But the Italian likely had his top-choice players back in his starting 11 against Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

There were only two changes from the Champions League semifinals victory over Bayern Munich.

The versatile Eduardo Camavinga was in the spot of injured holding midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni, who will miss the final due to a foot injury.

The other tweak was goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois starting over Andriy Lunin, the backup who played most of the season before the Belgian recovered recently from an ACL injury.

Ancelotti has not said which goalie will play against Dortmund in London on June 1, when the Spanish powerhouse will seek to add to its record 14 European Cups.

Madrid barely created any scoring chances against Betis, but the important thing for Ancelotti was just avoiding any injuries while keeping his players fresh.

Madrid’s final game of the domestic league offered little action. Betis’ Johnny Cardoso had a goal waived off in the first half after a video review spotted a Betis player offside.

KROOS HONORED

Toni Kroos played his last home game for Madrid. The 34-year-old midfielder announced this week he will retire after playing for Germany at this summer’s European Championship.

Kroos received an honor guard from his fellow players before kickoff and was cheered wildly by the crowd. His teammates and coach hugged him when he was substituted in the final minutes. Kroos then embraced his three young children.

He can add to his 22 titles, including four Champions League crowns, with Madrid next weekend.

DOVBYK EYES TOP SCORER

Ukraine striker Artem Dovbyk is set to finish the Spanish league as its top scorer after his main challenger fell one goal short of his mark.

Dovbyk, who is expected to play in Euro 2024, leads the league in the final round with 24 goals.

Villarreal striker Alexander Sorloth has 23 and had a chance to equal Dovbyk when it visited Osasuna. But the Norway striker appeared to suffer a leg injury early and had to be substituted without scoring.

Dovbyk was two goals behind Sorloth in the goals race until he bagged a hat trick to fuel a 7-0 rout of Granada on Friday.

After Sorloth, Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham has 19. Dovbyk's last outside threat is Robert Lewandowski, who has 18 before Barcelona visits Sevilla on Sunday in Xavi Hernández's last game in charge.

Dovbyk joined Girona last summer from Ukrainian club SC Dnipro-1 and helped transform the small club into a European sensation. The Catalan club partly owned by Manchester City's Adu Dhabi ownership qualified for the Champions League for the first time with a third-place finish.

Villarreal drew at Osasuna 1-1 after Sorloth's replacement, José Luis Morales, scored a second-half equalizer.

Osasuna striker Ante Budimir, who is on Croatia's Euro 2024 squad, netted his first goal since recovering from fractured ribs to give the hosts a first-half lead. He finished the league with 17 goals.

Villarreal will likely conclude the campaign with the league’s top assist-maker. Midfielder Álex Baena, who could be on Spain’s Euros 2024 squad, made it 14 assists by setting up Morales. Villarreal said that tied a club record set by Juan Riquelme.

The game also featured the farewell of coach Jagoba Arrasate after his six years at Osasuna. Arrasate announced in March that he turned down the offer of a contract extension, saying he needed a fresh start.

NICO SHINES

Nico Williams capped his superb season by scoring to give fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao a 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano. Williams helped Athletic win the Copa del Rey and is a sure bet to play for Spain at Euro 2024.

Fourth-placed Atletico Madrid got goals from Samuel Lino and Reinildo Mandava to defeat sixth-placed Real Sociedad 2-0.

The final round had no drama with the title, European berths and relegation spots all decided beforehand.

Madrid, Barcelona, Girona and Atletico will play in the Champions League next season, while Athletic and Sociedad are Europa League bound. Betis will play the Conference League.

FINALLY A REASON TO CHEER

Almeria, which was relegated a month before the season ended, was at least able to escape last place and give its fans something to cheer about after crushing Cadiz 6-1. Luis Suárez and Sergio Arribas both notched braces in the rout.

Almeria pushed Granada to the bottom. Cadiz will join them in the second division next season.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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