Jan 24, 2016 at 7.30pm UK at ​Estadio Benito Villamarin
Real Betis
1-1
Real Madrid
Cejudo (7')
Manuel Vargas (58'), Petros (61'), Molinero (69')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Benzema (71')
Danilo (64'), Carvajal (92')

Live Commentary: Real Betis 1-1 Real Madrid - as it happened

Live Commentary: Betis 1-1 Real Madrid - as it happened
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Real Betis and Real Madrid from Seville, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Third-place Real Madrid travelled to an out-of-form Real Betis on Sunday knowing that a win would leave them just two points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Betis entered the match having not scored in their last seven games in all competitions, but they took the lead in the seventh minute when Alvaro Cejudo curled one into the top corner.

Real Madrid levelled the scores in the 71st minute through Karim Benzema, but the visitors could not find a winner as they dropped points in Seville.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
6.31pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from Seville as Real Betis welcome Real Madrid. Betis are just about keeping their heads above water in terms of the relegation zone, but they are without a win in their last seven league games. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have won four of their last five in Spain's top flight, scoring 25 times in the process. It is a very tough game for Betis, but football has a funny way of surprising us! We are building towards a 7.30pm UK time kickoff here.

6.34pmH2H! To suggest that the omens are not exactly great for Betis tonight would be putting it kindly. The Andalusian side have lost eight of their last nine league games against Real Madrid, conceding an average of 3.33 goals per match. Real Madrid thumped Betis 5-0 when the pair met at the Bernabeu earlier this season and Los Blancos also recorded a 5-0 victory when the two teams clashed in this stadium during the 2013-14 campaign. Poor old Betis - they have not enjoyed facing Real Madrid.

6.37pmThe damning statistics do not end there. Betis have gone seven league games without a win and have not scored a single goal in their last six matches, which is their worst run in La Liga history. What's more, if Betis are not victorious in this match, which is unlikely if we are honest, they would equal their longest winless run since April 2009. Following Pepe Mel's departure, which did not come as much of a surprise, Juan Merino is now the man tasked with turning things around at the club.

6.40pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Estadio Benito Villamarin. Who have Merino and Zidane selected in their starting sides...

6.43pmTEAMS:

BETIS: Adan; Molinero, Pezzella, Bruno, Vargas; N'Diaye, Petros; Kadir, Fabian, Cejudo; Castro

REAL: Navas; Danilo, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Isco; James, Benzema, Ronaldo


6.46pmSo there we have it. Betis are still without the services of Alvaro Vadillo, while Dani Ceballos, rumoured to be a transfer target for Arsenal this month, is left on the bench. No real surprise that the hosts will operate with a single striker tonight as Ruben Castro lines up at the tip of the attack. There is also a spot in the XI for teenage midfielder Fabian, but Joaquin is only named on the bench.

Betis' forward Ruben Castro heads the ball past Rijeka's defender Niko Datkovic during the UEFA Europa League Group I football match Real Betis Balompie vs HNK Rijeka at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Sevilla on December 12, 2013© Getty Images


6.50pmAs for Real Madrid, Gareth Bale will spend at least the next couple of weeks on the sidelines with a calf problem, which has allowed out-of-favour James Rodriguez to return to the XI. Sergio Ramos also misses out with an ongoing shoulder problem, leaving Pepe and Raphael Varane at centre-back. The only surprise in the team is that Danilo starts ahead of Dani Carvajal at right-back.

6.53pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now little under 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Seville. In truth, everything points to an away win tonight and it is difficult to make a case for Betis, who have only won five of their 20 league matches this season, drawing six and losing nine. That has left them with 21 points and in 15th position in the table.

6.56pmThat said, Betis are three points clear of the relegation zone and can be thankful that some decent results picked up earlier in the season are helping them stay out of the bottom three. They managed to draw 0-0 at Villarreal last weekend, but entered that match off the back of three successive defeats, where they conceded nine times and failed to score in the process.

6.59pmOne of those 4-0 defeats came away to Barcelona, but the other came at home to Eibar one week later in a result that caused a number of the supporters to turn. Betis have not recorded all three points in the league since the end of November, when they won 1-0 at Levante. They do have some winnable games coming up, but they are a team that just do not score enough goals.

Lionel Messi finds the net during the game between Barcelona and Real Betis on December 30, 2015© Getty Images


7.02pmIndeed, Betis have only netted 13 times in their 20 league matches, which is the worst record in the entire division. Eight of those goals have come from their talisman Ruben Castro, but the likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Alvaro Vadillo have not been able to find the back of the net. They have not been too bad at the back, but goals have been so, so difficult to find.

7.06pmReal Madrid are having no such problems on the goal front, however, with 57 in their 20 league matches to date. Zidane's first game in charge ended in a 5-0 home win against Deportivo La Coruna, before they thumped Sporting Gijon 5-1 at home last time out. This is Zidane's first away match in charge of the first team, however, and that brings fresh challenges for the Frenchman.

Zinedine Zidane appears prior to the game between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna on January 9, 2016© AFP


7.09pmFor all Real Madrid's success in recent weeks – netting 10 times in one match last month – they are still trailing both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the league table. The top two have already played this weekend – Barcelona, who are now in first spot, beating Malaga 2-1 and Atletico drawing 0-0 with Sevilla - and that has left Los Blancos five points off the summit in third position.

7.12pmBale is of course injured for this match, but the 'BBC' (Benzema, Bale, Cristiano) have all been in excellent form in recent weeks. Indeed, the front three have scored 23 of the last 24 Real Madrid goals in the league – Bale nine, Benzema eight and Ronaldo six. Real Madrid are also the highest scorers on the road this season – netting 18 in their nine away fixtures in the league.

Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate Real Madrid's third goal during the La Liga match against Almeria on December 12, 2014© Getty Images


7.15pmReal Madrid will be well aware of the fact that Barcelona and Atletico meet at Camp Nou next weekend and Los Blancos have a good run of games coming up. After this one, which they would expect to win, they will welcome Espanyol, before travelling to Granada at the start of next month. At least one of the top two will drop points next weekend and Zidane's side will be hoping to pounce!

7.18pmThere will be no Copa del Rey trophy for Real Madrid this season after they were expelled from the competition for fielding an ineligible player, but the Champions League returns next month and the Spanish outfit have a two-legged tie with Roma in the round of 16 to come. If Zidane can keep his side firing in the final third and tighten things at the back, European Cup number 11 could well arrive.

7.22pmBenzema and Ronaldo both looked sharp in training ahead of this match. Crikey...


7.25pmPREDICTION! I am finding it very difficult to make a case for Betis tonight. The home side are in a very poor run of form and will not relish facing a Real Madrid team that now appears fully-focused under Zidane. I think this could be a bit of a hiding from Los Blancos. Away win, 4-0.

7.28pmA reminder of the two teams for tonight...

BETIS: Adan; Molinero, Pezzella, Bruno, Vargas; N'Diaye, Petros; Kadir, Fabian, Cejudo; Castro

REAL: Navas; Danilo, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Isco; James, Benzema, Ronaldo


0 minKICKOFF! Here we go then - both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. Can Betis shock Real Madrid? We shall find out! The home side kick things off in Seville tonight...

2 min... Betis have not scored in their last seven games in all competitions, which is quite incredible. However, Real Madrid's away record in the league this season has been patchy. I am expecting the visitors to quickly take control of the possession here and attempt to take an early lead.

4 minReal Madrid, in their grey strip, have taken control of the possession, as expected, with Isco, Modric and Kroos exchanging passes in the middle of the park. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium and the home supporters will want to see a response.

5 minBetis force the first corner of the match and that brings jubilation in the stands!

6 minReal Madrid do not look too comfortable at the back here as Varane misses a cross from the left, but Pepe is on hand to clear. Cracking noise as Betis feed off the crowd here.

7 minRonaldo picks up possession in a wide area and is roundly booed before being nudged to the ground. It is Betis that have started the better as they continue to get among the visitors with a high-energy pressing game. Can Betis find a way to make use of this positive start...

7 minGOAL! Betis 1-0 Real Madrid (Cejudo)

8 minOh my good grief! Betis almost score when Fabian strikes one from close range, but Navas gets down to make the save. The ball is not cleared, however, and Castro nudges the ball to Cejudo, who hammers one into the top corner. It is an incredible strike from the Spaniard, Navas no chance!

10 minReal Madrid want no part of this physical game at the moment and the home supporters are just loving the energy on display from the home side. It has been an incredible opening 10 minutes.

13 minThe dust has just settled in the last couple of minutes and Real Madrid are able to enjoy a period of possession, but the attack breaks down with Marcelo, who had driven towards the by-line. You just get the feeling that Betis need to keep it tight at the back for the next 10, 15 minutes.

15 minRonaldo is just leaning offside after a smart piece of work outside the Betis box and the referee blows to allow Betis to regain possession. The referee might be forced to issue the first card of the match if the late challenges continue to arrive - Ronaldo has been fouled a couple of times!

16 minSuper defending from Bruno as the Betis centre-back gets across to clear a low cross from Modric, who had worked his way into the box. You cannot take your eyes off this game.

18 minBenzema tries to catch out Adan at his near post after finding space inside the box, but the Frenchman can only find the hands of the Betis goalkeeper. What an opening 18 minutes here.

20 minCredit to Betis for how hard they are working at the moment, but it is impossible to keep this up for the whole 90 minutes. Real Madrid will take control at some point, I am sure of it.

21 minRonaldo signals to the bench that he needs to change his boots and that is not a bad idea - the attacker has been sliding all over the place since the start of the match. The late challengers continue to arrive from both teams, but the referee is keeping his cards in his pocket here.

22 minHalf-chance for Real Madrid as Danilo picks out the head of Isco, but his effort is at Adan.

25 minBenzema attempts to slide a pass into Ronaldo as Real Madrid break forward once again, but Adan is out to claim. There has also been a change of boots for Ronaldo on the touchline!

27 minRonaldo is back on, with some fresh boots. The others will go straight in the bin I shall imagine. The match has definitely settled after that explosive start from Betis, but while Real Madrid are seeing more of the ball, they are not really threatening to level the scores in Seville.

29 minYou just get the feeling that Betis need to lead into the half-time break if they are to stand a chance of securing a strong result tonight. If Real Madrid score the next goal, especially before the interval, you would have to make them the strong favourites to go on and claim all the points.

31 minMarcelo again drives down the left before delivering, but it is routine for Adan, who has been nice and strong between the sticks in the opening 31 minutes. So far, so good for Betis here.

33 minTo suggest that Ronaldo is not receiving a warm reception from the crowd would be putting it kindly! Plenty of boos for the Portugal captain, but he will not mind that and will be confident of getting a goal or two to silence the supporters. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

33 minCHANCE! Super chance for Ronaldo as Benzema sets up his attacking partner in the Betis box, but the Portuguese fires wide of the post. He usually gobbles those ones up!

34 minCHANCE! Pepe rises unmarked inside the Betis box to meet a corner from Kroos, but his header misses the target. Another wonderful chance for the visitors to level the scores.

35 minPENALTY SHOUT! Benzema goes down inside the Betis box under a challenge from Petros, but the referee is not interested. On second viewing, that should have been given.

36 minSimply all Real Madrid at the moment as Ronaldo swings one wide of Adan's post.

38 minBetis cannot get out of their own half at the moment as Real Madrid continue to boss this match, but the only statistic that matters sees the home side lead 1-0. The first 10, 12 minutes were all Betis, but Real Madrid have settled and really should be at least level in this match.

41 minBetis need to dig in and absorb the pressure as we enter the final stages of this first half. James has been caught in possession on a couple of occasions, but Real Madrid keep on coming and are threatening in wide positions. I would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals here.

43 minIt has not quite happened for Ronaldo in this half, and that is without mentioning his boots, which seemed to break and force a replacement pair. The Portuguese is ruled offside once again and Betis manage to clear as we approach the final few minutes in the first period.

45 minBetis break on a couple of occasions, but cannot find that final pass.

45 min+1Bruno gets up to meet a free kick from Cejudo, but his header is wide of the post.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Betis 1-0 Real Madrid

8.16pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Betis leading 1-0 courtesy of a wonderful volley from Cejudo in the seventh minute. Real Madrid settled after a difficult start and have had chances through Ronaldo and Pepe, however, and they also had a strong penalty shout turned down when Petros clearly fouled Benzema inside the box. Game on!

8.21pmSTATISTICS! Real Madrid have shaded the possession with 56%, while they have had six attempts - two of which were on target. Betis, meanwhile, have also registered two attempts on target thus far. There have been 16 fouls and some tasty ones at that, but no bookings from the referee!

8.26pmBENCH WATCH! The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench this evening, with the likes of Ceballos, Joaquin, Molina and Portillo all available for caretaker boss Merino. Real Madrid, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Carvajal, Casemiro, Jese, Kovacic and Lucas.

8.30pmMuch to ponder for this man at the interval...

Real Madrid's French assistant coach Zinedine Zidane looks on before the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on August 18, 2013© Getty Images


46 minRESTART! Here we go then - both sets of players re-join us on the pitch for the second period. Can Real Madrid turn this game around? Stay with us to find out. Los Blancos resume the play...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period gathers pace. Betis worked so hard in that first period and they did start to tire towards the end of the half.

49 minIt has been a strong start to the second period from the away side, with Ronaldo and Modric both having strikes blocked on the edge of the box. Betis need to be really careful here.

50 minKroos swings one wide of the post as Real Madrid continue to threaten.

51 minSAVE! Super stop from Adan as the Betis goalkeepers flies across to keep out a close-range effort from Benzema, but the Frenchman fires the rebound over the crossbar!

52 minBETIS SUB! Betis are forced into a change as Ceballos replaces Fabian.

54 minPrior to tonight, only six of Betis' 21 points this season had been gained at home and they are also the lowest home scorers in the league. Can they hold out for a 1-0 win? Stay with us!

55 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for James to level the scores as he finds himself free to meet a Kroos corner, but the attacker's effort is straight at Adan, who makes the save!

57 minBetis are going to be forced into another change here. Joaquin is stripped...

57 min... BETIS SUB! Kadir exits for the popular Joaquin.

58 minBOOKING! Vargas (Betis) is booked for a late challenge on Modric.

60 minBetis still lead as we head for the final 30 minutes, but Real Madrid will fancy their chances of carving out a number of opportunities as play progresses here. Zidane has plenty of attacking options on his bench and the likes of Jese and Lucas are currently going through a warm-up.

61 minBOOKING! Petros (Betis) is booked for a foul on Isco.

63 minDanilo breaks down the right for Real Madrid before delivering a super cross into Ronaldo, but Pezzella is on the cover to clear with a super challenge. Ronaldo is then flagged offside.

65 minModric shows wonderful ability to produce a nut-meg before curling a cross onto the head of Ronaldo, but his effort is into the air and Adan manages to claim above the Portuguese.

65 minBOOKING! Danilo (Real Madrid) is booked for a late challenge on Ceballos.

65 minREAL MADRID SUB! Carvajal replaces Danilo in Real's first sub.

68 minJoaquin has been able to buy a number of free kicks since entering the field and that is just what Betis need at this stage of the match. Another 10 minutes are almost down and Betis still lead courtesy of that excellent volley from Cejudo. Can Real Madrid find a route back here?

69 minBOOKING! Molinero (Betis) is booked for a foul on Modric.

71 minCHANCE! Full-back to full-back as Marcelo finds Carvajal inside the Betis box, but the Spanish international fires his effort wide of the post. Might have done better there!

71 minGOAL! Betis 1-1 Real Madrid (Benzema)

72 minReal Madrid level the scores in the 71st minute as Kroos plays a wonderful pass into James, who squares for Benzema and the Frenchman has the simple task of firing home!

73 minJames was offside when the pass from Kroos was played! Should not have stood!

75 min

77 minBETIS SUB! Cejudo is replaced by Portillo.

79 minYou just get the feeling that there is another goal in this game and Betis just cannot seem to get out of their own half at the moment. Real Madrid are utterly dominating possession here.

79 minSAVE! Stunning stop from Adan, who pushes away a stinging James effort!

79 minSAVE! Adan then keeps out Benzema's close-range effort. Stunning!

80 minREAL MADRID SUB! Jese replaces James for the away team.

81 minIf Betis hold on for a point here then they will have their goalkeeper to thank. Adan has been sensational between the sticks and is enjoying himself against his former club tonight!

83 minBetis just cannot keep the ball. Cannot keep it. For love nor money!

85 minCarvajal keeps making runs down the right and his teammates keep finding him. Betis need to find a way of keeping the ball, but they are pumping it down-field and Castro does not have the pace to run Varane or Pepe. Little over five minutes of this incredible contest remaining here.

86 minRonaldo cuts into the Betis box, but his final effort was always swinging wide!

87 minAgain it is brave goalkeeping from Adan as he gets down to deny Ronaldo, who looked certain to meet a low cross from Jese. Adan has been the best player on the pitch in this match.

89 minIsco crosses for Ronaldo as Real Madrid counter following a Betis attack, but the pass does not reach the attacker and Bruno hacks down-field. Not long left in Seville tonight!

90 min+1FOUR ADDED MINUTES.

90 min+1CLOSE! Castro runs away from Kroos as Betis counter and curls one towards the top corner, but he just misses the post. Almost a stunning moment in this match!

90 min+3Bruno hacks away a cross from Jese and Betis manage to force it clear once again!

90 min+3BOOKING! Carvajal (Real Madrid) is booked for dissent.

90 min+4Ten seconds or so left...

90 min+5... FULL-TIME: Betis 1-1 Real Madrid

9.22pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close and Betis have held on for a famous point against Real Madrid. It is a super result for the home side, who have moved one place into 14th, but Real Madrid have missed the chance to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to just two points. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action once again. Until next time!

Zinedine Zidane appears prior to the game between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna on January 9, 2016
Read Next:
Zidane: 'More to come from Real Madrid'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona98102632325
2Valencia963025101521
3Real Madrid96211871120
4Atletico MadridAtletico9540145919
5Leganes952283517
6Villarreal95131510516
7Real Betis95131917216
8Sevilla951398116
9Real Sociedad94141918113
10Espanyol9333811-312
11Celta Vigo93241814411
12Athletic Bilbao93241010011
13Levante9252911-211
14Getafe9234111019
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo9234916-79
16GironaGirona9144713-67
17EibarEibar9216320-177
18Las PalmasLas Palmas9207722-156
19AlavesAlaves9108314-113
20Malaga9018420-161
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand