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20.04.2013 » Real Madrid 3-1 Betis. Saving energies for Dortmund...

Cristiano Ronaldo putting on a funny and childish face with his tongue out, in Real Madrid 2013

Real Madrid defeated Betis by 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu this Saturday afternoon, thanks to goals from Mesut Ozil (2) and Karim Benzema. Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't find the back of the net, but still assisted Benzema for the last goal of the game and has always been one of the most dynamic players in the Merengues' attacking sector. It's now time to switch the focus for the Champions League challenge against Borussia Dortmund, coming up right next Wednesday...

There wasn't much interest around this weekend's game between Real Madrid and Betis for La Liga, but the Merengues didn't facilitate and beat their opponents by 3-1. With next Wednesday's capital game in mind against Borussia Dortmund, José Mourinho rotated his team as he was expected to, but didn't relinquish playing with Cristiano Ronaldo for the full 90 minutes. The Portuguese star didn't score any goal this time, but saw Mesut Ozil getting two and still managed to assist Karim Benzema for his side's third goal, in the dying minutes of the game. The negative note from this Saturday's fixture was Marcelo and Luka Modric getting injured, which will most likely make them unavailable for this Wednesday's Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid live clash.

Cristiano Ronaldo photos in Real Madrid vs Betis
Real Madrid
3-1 Betis goals and highlights:

In games like these, everyone knows there's always a big chance of seeing a slow paced game. Real Madrid switched their back four completely, at the same time they saw Casemiro making his debut in the first team (a Brazilian youngster, who plays as a defensive midfielder for Real Madrid Castilla). In the other hand, Casillas remained on the bench as Diego López continues deserving Mourinho's confidence in the goal, Modric and Ozil got in charge of operating all the midfield actions and Callejón partnered up with Ronaldo and Benzema upfront. José Mourinho was well aware of the danger of rotating the whole team at once, so his intentions of keeping a few key players in the line-up for this fixture against Betis to offset the rotation effect were pretty clear.

Not unexpectedly, the first half was played in a very slow rhythm and without many goalscoring chances being created for any of the sides. Fortunately for the Merengues, Mesut Ozil would find a way to break the deadlock just before we arrived the half-time break, after a great combination with Karim Benzema on the right side of the attack. The German "maestro" collected a pass from his French teammate when he was already stepping into his opponent's penalty-area and easily tricked the goalkeeper with his body stance, making it 1-0 for Real Madrid.

Mesut Ozil celebrating a goal in Real Madrid vs Betis, in 2013

With the Merengues on the lead, the second half didn't promise much in terms of providing a better display from the home side. Passing kept being predictable and Betis didn't seem to be strong enough to agitate things. The Whites would reach their second goal in the afternoon from a typical counter-attack play, where Cristiano Ronaldo showed up playing a center role in the build-up, as he assisted Karim Benzema for a left-foot finish when he had only Adrián in front of him. At that point (57 minutes played), it seemed the match's fate was already decided, as the visitors weren't proving of being capable of threatning Diego López at all...

Nevertheless and against all odds, a mistake from Ricardo Carvalho in the 71th minute, allowed for Betis to organize a fast counter-attack and to catch the Merengues' defense out of position. Nacho arrived late to close the gap in the middle and saw his sliding tackle clipping Betis forward on his right foot, as he was preparing to cut inside to finish the play. The referee pointed to the spot and Molina converted it, reducing the deficit to a single goal. Diego López still stretched his arms when attempting to reach the ball, but Molina's shot was just too strong and precise to be stopped.

Being only one goal away from coming out of the Santiago Bernabéu with one valuable point, naturally motivated and revitalized Betis for the last 20 minutes of the game. However, Ronaldo had a different idea in mind and before the referee's final whistle he would still pull a great play on the left, dribbling a defender and sending in a great cross to Callejón, who had been left all alone on the far post. The 26-years winger didn't connect well with the ball, but his shot ended up assisting Mesut Ozil for an easy tap-in already close to goal line and which sealed the deal for the Merengues with a 3-1 win over Betis. The entire football world will now focus at next Tuesday and Wednesday big clashes, with an exciting Bayern Munich vs Barcelona taking place at the Allianz Arena, and a thrilling Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid at the Westfalenstadion. If you're a neutral football fan, you probably couldn't have asked for a better semi-finals draw!

Cristiano Ronaldo shooting a football past a Betis defender, in a game for La Liga

Real Madrid line-up vs Betis:

Goalkeeper: Diego López
Defenders: Marcelo, Ricardo Carvalho, Raul Albiol, Nacho
Midfielders: Casemiro, Modric, Ozil
Attackers: Callejón, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Borussia Dortmund for the Champions League semi-final 1st leg, on April 24, 2013. You can watch Juventus live stream, Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid, Bayern Munich vs PSG, Tottenham vs Manchester City and Liverpool vs Chelsea, all matches provided from our soccer live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (24-04-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 02:45
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 16:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 15:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 12:45
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 03:45

Sources: / / / /

Casemiro making his debut for Real Madrid vs Betis, in La Liga 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo putting his arm over Casemiro on his debut for Real Madrid, as both celebrate a goal against Betis, in La Liga 2013

Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema solidifying their partnership in Real Madrid attack

Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid German midfielder, in action in 2013

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