After a fantastic run by Rodrygo, Mariano put the 35-time Spanish winners up after five minutes.
Cadiz equalised with Ruben Sobrino just before halftime.
Real goalie Andriy Lunin saved Alvaro Negredo’s second-half penalty, leaving Cadiz on goal difference outside the relegation places heading into their last match.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti made six changes and rested important players such as Luka Modric and Karim Benzema ahead of their Champions League final against Liverpool on Saturday, May 28 in Paris.
Real may be free of domestic pressure after winning the league with four games to spare at the end of April, but it didn’t stop them from thumping Levante 6-0 in midweek.
On Sunday, however, they were put to the test against a spirited Cadiz side fighting for their La Liga status.
Lunin, who came in to replace Thibaut Courtois for the visitors, made six stops as the hosts had 21 shots on goal.
Cadiz were unable to add to Sobrino’s goal, as Negredo missed a golden opportunity to put his team back in ahead after being hauled down by Lunin, who dived to his left to save the Spaniard’s penalty effort.
Mallorca’s 92nd-minute winner over Rayo Vallecano brought them level on 36 points with Cadiz, who must match Mallorca’s result next Sunday due to their 12-goal goal difference.
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