Real Madrid slipped up in the title race on a rainy Saturday evening, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Betis.
The first half was a fairly quiet affair, with Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema both firing high and wide from good positions. Betis were able to frustrate the Liga champions comfortably, and they headed into the half-time break with little between the two teams.
Madrid were the dominant side in the second half, although they almost fell behind when Borja Iglesias raced through the heart of the defence. But Thibaut Courtois was there to thwart him, charging off his line to narrow the gap and save his shot.
Rodrygo and Luka Modric also came close for the hosts, but both were denied by an inspired Claudio Bravo. Zinedine Zidane’s men pushed until the end, but they couldn’t find a way through – meaning they now sit two points behind Atletico Madrid, although the leaders also boast a game in hand.
Let’s have a look at the Madrid player ratings from a tense clash in the Spanish capital.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 8/10 – Made a super save to stop Iglesias, throwing himself at the striker’s feet to deny him when clean through on goal. Relied upon and delivered the goods.
Dani Carvajal (RB) – 6/10 – Back in the side and offered a decent performance. Still getting up to speed, and wasn’t risked for more than 70 minutes.
Raphael Varane (CB) – 7/10 – A solid enough display from Varane, though he was caught out of position on occasions by Betis breaking on the counter.
Eder Militao (CB) – 7/10 – A mature display in difficult conditions from the young Brazilian, who undoubtedly plays better next to Varane or Sergio Ramos.
Nacho (LB) – 6/10 – Has deputised excellently at the heart of the defence in recent months, but left-back is not the one for the defender. Couldn’t offer that attacking intent required.
Luka Modric (CM) – 6/10 – Fired a nice effort from the edge of the box, but saw his strike parried to safety. Failed to clip any penetrating passes through a resolute Betis backline.
Casemiro (CM) – 7/10 – Almost broke the deadlock late on, but his effort was hit straight at the imperious Bravo. Didn’t allow the Betis midfield much in the way of space, and shielded his back four superbly.
Isco (CM) – 6/10 – Couldn’t influence the game as he would have hoped. Played a delicious ball through to Benzema, but the Frenchman was flagged offside. Made way on 70 minutes.
Rodrygo (RW) – 6/10 – Cross-shot came the closest to catching out Bravo, rattling the bar with his delivery. Tried to frighten the opposition with his lightning pace but Betis stood resolute.
Karim Benzema (ST) – 6/10 – Missed a few chances that you’d expect him to tuck away. Might have won the game on another day but it wasn’t to be.
Marco Asensio (LW) – 6/10 – Unable to replicate his match-winning form of the past few weeks, blazing a half-decent chance over the bar early on. Faded as Betis grew into the game and was subbed.
Vinicius Junior (LW) – 7/10
Alvaro Odriozola (RWB) – 6/10
Marcelo (LWB) – 6/10
Eden Hazard (RW) – N/A
Antonio Blanco (CM) – N/A