Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the match in La Liga between Real Betis
and Real Madrid
. Barcelona's victory against Eibar has left Madrid facing a 13-point deficit to the leaders, and it means that the pressure is on Santiago Solari
's side to return to winning ways in Spain's top flight. Betis can also move to within one point of Madrid with a win in front of their own supporters!
Here are the two starting lineups...
REAL BETIS XI: Lopez; Barragan, Mandi, Bartra, Francis; Lo Celso, William Carvalho, Guardado, Joaquin, Sanabria, Canales
REAL MADRID XI: Navas; Varane, Sergio Ramos, Nacho; Carvajal, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Reguilon; Benzema, Vinicius Junior
KICKOFF: Real Betis get us underway. It is absolutely rocking at Benito Villamarin!
Both teams have already had a spell of possession during the early stages. Three fouls have also been committed. It's a bit feisty.
This is superb from Vinicius Junior
. He dispossessed a Betis player before storming forward, leading to Guardado scything down the young Brazilian on the edge of the area. Easy decision for the referee.
Betis have got their foot on the ball over the last minute or so and are more than matching Madrid. The early signs are that this is going to be a good game.
The home side have already lost possession in dangerous areas on two occasions. They are not necessarily overplaying things. It's more because of Madrid's pressing, which will delight Solari.
Both teams are also playing some eye-catching football. If anything, Betis has taking the more measured approach with Madrid focusing more on getting their wing-backs into the action.
Despite all that, we are still waiting for our first shot. Ramos took a free kick earlier in the game, but it went into the wall.
GOAL! Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid (Luka Modric)
GOAL! Well we have now and it has resulted in a goal. Carvajal had a shot blocked on the edge of the area but the ball fell to Modric, who drilled a left-footed effort from 20 yards into the top corner.
That's a big goal for Madrid. They were chasing Real Sociedad for the entire game last weekend, but tonight they can look to dictate things and play with a bit more patience.
Betis are applying more pressure, but Madrid look much better from a defensive standpoint now that they are using a 3-5-2 formation. It's going to be difficult for the home side to find a way through.
The home side are not making a sustained effort to reclaim the ball when they have lost possession. It's giving Madrid all the time that they want to slow the pace to their desired speed.
Betis are taking too many risks with their passing in the defensive third of the pitch. Benzema almost got a shot away after the ball was fired into him on the edge of the area, with Betis eventually able to make a block.
Vinicius Junior was Madrid's most impressive player last weekend, and that is also the case today. His quality on the ball and his work-rate are really beginning to shine through.
SHOT! Another Betis mistake leads to another Madrid attack. Modric eventually received the ball on the edge of the area before firing a shot just over from 25 yards out. Betis are living very dangerously.
SHOT! Lo Celso takes Betis' first shot of the game, but it is dragged tamely wide of the post from 30 yards out. The effort was met by sarcastic applause.
Betis are up to about six mistakes in their own defensive third in the space of 28 minutes. They have just not adjusted to Real's change in formation.
CHANCE! Madrid could make this game really easy for themselves if they score a second. Benzema was played in down the right and his low cross found the run of Vinicius Junior, whose first-time 12-yard strike was comfortably saved by Lopez.
Betis have the ball again, but they are starting to play with more caution. Maybe they are starting to learn from their errors over the opening half-hour.
Betis lose it again, however, and Real break in numbers and with speed. It leads to Valverde being played through on goal, but the midfielder steps on the ball as he moved closer to Lopez and the chance was lost.
YELLOW CARD! Modric goes into the book for a late challenge on Joaquin.
Betis are still matching Madrid when it comes to general play, but the visitors are forming a white wall when they don't have the ball.
Turns out that Vinicius Junior is human. The youngster got down the left before cutting inside to pass to Benzema, but it's poor and easily cut out by a defender.
Guardado surges forward down the centre and is taken out by Ramos around 25 yards out. I'm not sure how it's not a yellow card.
SHOT! Canales takes the resulting set piece, but his left-footed curler goes wide of Navas's right-hand post. The goalkeeper had it covered.
YELLOW CARD! Ramos goes into the book on this occasion, but he has barely fouled Lo Celso. The wrong decision, but he can have no complaints.
SHOT! Betis have improved over the past few minutes and this is probably the closest that they have come. Canales found some space on the edge of the area, but his low shot went just wide of the post.
We will have two minutes of added-on time, but it will be considerably more. Benzema has clearly broken his finger and it's not pretty.
HALF TIME: Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid
The referee opts against adding on anything extra - and he is immediately questioned by a Betis player - but we have reached half time with Madrid ahead thanks to Modric's superb strike during the early stages. The visitors have impressed so far, but Betis remain in this contest.
Fancy some half-time reading? We have just the thing for you. Barcelona faced Eibar earlier today and recorded a 3-0 victory at Camp Nou. Click here
to read our on-the-whistle match report.
The two teams are back out. As expected, Benzema has been withdrawn and Cristo Gonzalez has been introduced for his league debut for Madrid.
KICKOFF: Madrid get us back underway.
SHOT! Both teams have gone on the offensive since the restart. Betis managed to get a shot away from distance through Canales, but Navas made a comfortable save.
Madrid haven't started this second half slowly, but they are being presented with a different test from Betis. The next goal is going to be huge.
The visitors are trying to match Betis' intensity with some faster passing of their own, but they have to ensure that they do not lose their own composure. They were levels above Betis on that front in the first half.
SHOT! A sharp break featuring Madrid's trio of youngsters ends with Vinicius Junior scuffing a low curler straight at Lopez from an acute angle.
Madrid don't look so tight at the back right now. They have struggled to keep clean sheets on their travels this season, so maybe that is on their mind.
This game is being played at a really high tempo. It feels only a matter of time before there is a second goal. Gonzalez has settled in quickly at the head of Madrid's attack.
SHOT! This would have been a stunner. Madrid only cleared the ball to the edge of the area where Guardado was waiting, and the Mexican sent a first-time, swerving volley marginally wide of the far post.
YELLOW CARD! Valverde goes into the book for a cynical tug on a Betis player on the touchline.
We are at the stage of the game where Betis boss Setien must be considering his first change, but the home side are currently on top without creating anything inside the area.
Betis are continuing the apply the pressure, but here comes that first alteration...
SUBSTITUTION! Tello is introduced for Francis on the left.
GOAL! Real Betis 1-1 Real Madrid (Sergio Canales)
Betis have equalised but not without drama! Canales was played through on goal before poking a shot past Navas. The flag went up for offside, but VAR showed that the Betis man was pretty much exactly level with the last defender. Game on!
The home side probably deserve that. They have improved since the break and have certainly kept Madrid under much more pressure than in the first 45 minutes.
Betis are certainly not settling for a point, either. Madrid had a free kick but once that was cleared, the home side broke forward in numbers. Nothing came from the move, but it was a show of intent.
SUBSTITUTION! Madrid have made a second change and altered formation. Former Betis man Ceballos is on for Reguilon.
The pressure is incessant from Betis. Madrid find themselves struggling to get any time on the ball and although they need a win from this game, they will be fortunate to hold on for a point.
Nothing comes from a Betis corner, and Madrid take the direct approach on the break. Vinicius Junior receives the ball and quickly plays in Carvajal down the right, but the wing-back just fails to get past the final defender when running into the area.
We still fancy a winning goal for either side. Betis are bombing forward at will, but Madrid look dangerous on the break. Just the 10 minutes to go.
SUBSTITUTION! Here comes Madrid's new signing Diaz for his La Liga debut. He replaces Valverde.
Madrid look like they are placing more emphasis on attack, but they are lacking any kind of a physical presence in the final third.
SUBSTITUTION! Another change for Betis as Boudebouz comes on for Guardado.
YELLOW CARD! Casemiro of all people surges forward from the middle of the pitch and is hauled down by Carvalho on the edge of the area. Big chance here...
GOAL! Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid (Dani Ceballos)
Madrid are back in front and it's former Betis man Ceballos who has scored it! The substitute's free kick beats the wall and finds the far bottom corner with Lopez having initially taken a step the other way.
There will be four minutes of added-on time.
Joaquin and Tello combine to earn Betis a corner. This might be their last chance...
Nothing comes from it. Real broke forward, but failed to make the most of a three-on-two situation.
FULL TIME: Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid
The full-time whistle goes at Benito Villamarin and Real Madrid have earned a crucial 2-1 win against Real Betis. It looked like Solari's side were going to drop points for the third successive game, but Ceballos's free kick has got Madrid back to within 10 points of leaders Barcelona.
That will be all from Sports Mole
for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon.
If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.