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18.08.2013 » Real Madrid 2-1 Betis. Isco saves the Merengues with a late goal

Isco celebrating his first Real Madrid winning goal vs Betis, with Morata on his back

Real Madrid had to fight until the last breath of the game to get past a strong Betis side, but thanks to a goal from Isco the Merengues took the 3 points and will now keep on the top of the league.

It was far from being a perfect debut in this year's La Liga, as Carlo Ancelotti's side only scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game. Real Madrid defeated Betis by 2-1, but probably struggled a lot more than what could be expected initially. Isco goal in the dying minutes of the game allowed the home side to rescue the 3 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Betis
Real Madrid
2-1 Betis goals and highlights:

Betis manager Pepe Mel decided to approach this game at the Bernabéu with his defensive back line having a clear goal in mind: to catch the Merengues' forwards offside whenever an assist was about to be made. As a result of such strategy, Real Madrid ended up scoring 3 disallowed goals and bumped too many times with their noses into a well organized Betis defense. Carlo Ancelotti preferred to pick Diego Lopez over Casillas for this first game of the season and banked on a midfield lined up with Khedira, Modric, Isco and Ozil. More upfront, it was up to Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema to charge against Betis last defensive wall. The chosen back four had Marcelo on the left, Sergio Ramos and Pepe as centre defenders and Carvajal on the right, who took Arbeloa's spot.

As seen many times in the past years, Real Madrid started off with the wrong foot and conceded the opening goal around the 14th minute of the first half. Regardless of any merits that Betis may deserve for the build-up of the play in question, what stood out the most on this first goal was the way Sergio Ramos got beaten in speed by Betis new winger Cedric. The Congolese player left Ramos eating his dust with a simple move that made him look like an amateur, just to find his teammate Jorge Molina free in the center, who simply had to push the ball towards an empty net to put the visitors on the lead.

A few minutes later and once more on a play that started with Cedric escaping a Real Madrid defender, Betis got very close to extend their lead to 0-2, only if it wasn't for a big miss by the team's star, Verdú. Fortunately for Ancelotti's side, the visitors wasted their opportunity to go two goals up and ended up conceding the equaliser shortly after, around the 26th minute of the first half. Real Madrid started passing the ball around with more flow and a few quick combinations between Khedira, Marcelo and Isco allowed Karim Benzema to be forgotten behind Betis defense. The Frenchman proved that finishing with his left-foot isn't that big of a problem for him and struck the ball past Andersen, just to put things back to square one in the Bernabéu.

Cristiano Ronaldo pointing at someone

At that moment, few people certainly believed that Betis would be capable of holding the intensity of the pressure expected from the home side, especially since there were still roughly 60 minutes left to be played. Surprisingly, the second Real Madrid goal didn't come up before the game entered its final 5 minutes and it was only to be scored in a highly unlikely manner. Marcelo move up on the pitch to help his side getting more man-power close to Betis penalty area, put in a well-timed cross targeting Isco and the former Malaga midfielder pulled off a superb header that got no response from Betis goalkeeper. Real Madrid had finally managed to get in front in the game and with that vital goal, they made sure they wouldn't kickoff their La Liga campaign by dropping two points right in the debut of the competition.

On his 200th game for Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't find the back of the net neither he had any direct participation on his side's two goals. However, the Portuguese forward showed his usual commitment and availability when it came to put their opponent's defense into trouble during the whole course of the game. He has hit the woodwork twice, with the first time taking place just a few instants before Benzema's equalizer, while the second happened after the break and in a period where Real Madrid were already starting to become desperate in their quest of reaching their second goal. Luck wasn't on CR7's side last night, but the more important objective was definitely achieved, since the 3 points were secured and Barcelona won't get away in the standings right after the first round of games in the Spanish League.

Cristiano Ronaldo controlling the ball in style

Real Madrid line-up vs Betis:

Goalkeeper: Diego Lopez
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo
Midfielders: Khedira, Modric, Isco, Ozil
Attackers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Real Madrid
vs
Betis
2
Goals
1
20
Shots
11
11
Shots on goal
5
5
Corner kicks
7
11
Fouls commited
20
1
Yellow cards
2
0
Red cards
0
62%
Ball possession
38%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Al-Sadd, this next Thursday (August 22, 2013), with the Santiago Bernabéu trophy on the line. In the meantime, you can watch Real Madrid vs Al-Sadd, Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona, Manchester City vs Newcastle and PSV vs AC Milan, all matches provided from our live football section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Al-Sadd
kick-off time (22-08-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 03:30
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 22:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 21:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 17:30
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 16:30
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 13:30
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 04:30

Sources: ronaldo7.net / guardian.co.uk / realmadrid.com

Real Madrid line-up vs Betis, in La Liga 2013-2014

Cristiano Ronaldo taking a free-kick in Real Madrid 2-1 Betis

Cristiano Ronaldo looking lost in Real Madrid 2013-2014

Cristiano Ronaldo ball control technique, in Real Madrid 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo sprinting with Carlo Ancelotti behind

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