Real Madrid keeps its 10-point advantage over Barcelona after winning at Benito Villamarín 2-3 against Betis. Mourinho’s team knew how to use the punch of Ronaldo and Higuain despite their bad play to beat a great Betis. The home team was fighting until the last minute and claimed a penalty by Ramos, who rejected a shot with his hands, but the referee did not whistle on it.

First Half

Pepe Mel’s team was not intimidated over the danger of Real Madrid’s stickers in the counterattack. Betis played with its line defenders forward and pressing on Madrid’s midfielders. Betis had the passion of the ball while Madrid was waiting to have their chances. A nice combination of passes between Nacho and Ruben Castro had the ball ending up with Molina who put the hosts ahead in the ninth minute.

The joy of the fans lasted only 14 minutes since German play maker Ozil broke the defensive line of Betis with a long pass to Argentinean Higuain, who made the equalizer. In the last five minutes of the first half Betis got two chances: Stricker Castro slipped after dribbling clear Ramos; and playmaker Salva Sevilla, who rattled the crossbar after Casillas saved the ball by tipping it with his fingers in the freekick. Meanwhile, Ronaldo had his own chance to score but an inspired Fabricio denied him the goal.

Second Half

In a raid by Brazilian leftback Marcelo, he assisted Ronaldo inside the box who scored an easy goal in the 51st minute. Betis were at level three minutes later after Madrid failed to clear a corner; the ball was left inside the box to Montero, who blasted Casillas’ goal.

Betis got a double chance from low-range to beat Casillas, but he saved them. The match was still being played at high speed but Betis seemed tired and Madrid was launching quick counterattacks. Fabricio denied Marcelo’s goal with a spectacular save on the 62th minute.

The home team appealed penalties when Alonso touched Nacho’s cross with his hand. The referee who had to replace injured Iturralde Gonzalez at half-time did not give the maximum punishment.

In the 72th minute, a corner delivered by Kaka was headed by Ramos but Fabricio pulled out the ball to Ronaldo who score the winning goal. With 20 minutes remaining, Betis put forward their lines to try to get the draw. Ronaldo had another chance to make his hat-trick, but his foot was away from Fabricio’s goal.

In the extra time Betis got a last chance, a corner was only half-cleared and Montero took a shoot from long range that was repealed by Spanish defender Ramos by an arm. The referee blew the final whistle and ignored Betis’ complaints.


Image Courtesy of   Matt Trommer /