By: Maria Dorta
There are less and less games in La Liga now, so there’s no margin for errors. This was going to be a hard game for Real Madrid and Mourinho knew it. Even the ten points gap between his team and Barcelona doesn’t give a sense of relief to the players; each game is a war and each goal is a triumph. Mourinho was prepared for today’s game, he said it himself because he knows what the boys of Pepe Mel can do when they play hard.
The line up wasn’t different from the last game; it was his strongest team. Why? Because he said it in the press conference and when you see the statistics, it truly is the team with more victories. Betis had some injured players ahead of today’s match, some of the important ones, but he was going to play with strength and with his head high.
The first half was for Betis was strong; they were the best team the whole 45 minutes. They didn’t let Real Madrid near the scoring area; they knew how to stop them and they did an excellent job of it. Their defense was creating some amazing walls in front of the strikers of Real Madrid and they were clearly driving them insane.
The ball belonged to the players in green and white; they owned it and because they deserved it, a goal came in the 10th minutes, thanks to a lack on the defense of Real Madrid. It started with a beautiful and quick pass to Molina, who made he’s way between three players, and put the ball at the back of the net. Real Madrid was losing again in the first few minutes of a game, but this time it was because their own fault.
A lot of lost balls from Real Madrid showed their game wasn’t solid and they seemed lost. Even though they had possession of the ball sometimes, the Betis boys knew how to gain it again. The minutes passed and nothing was clear for Real Madrid until a magical pass from Mesut Özil to Higuain, who ran across the side of the pitch, made a shot and as only he knows how to do, and the ball was like an arrow at the end of the goal.
Finally the game was tied, but you could see how desperate Real Madrid was to win this game. They started to do some hard tackles to their enemy but that didn’t work to get the ball. Some other occasions presented themselves to Madrid, but nothing happened. Betis was still a hard and strong team; they weren’t scare of Real Madrid and it was refreshing to see someone who can make a fight with the white ones.
The second half was different from the first but not because Real Madrid started to do something; it was because both of the teams were fighting with all they had. Real Madrid was able to be in Betis’ half a little bit more, but when they tried to create dangerous plays, the defense of Betis appeared. At the 52nd minute, the goal from “The goal machine” came. An air pass from Marcelo to Cristiano Ronaldo, who was in front of the goal, opened up the opportunity for CR to make a quick shot and the ball passed beside the goalkeeper and into goal.
Things were finally going good for Real Madrid, but it wasn’t going to be for long. At the 55th minute, a goal from Montero tied the game once and again. Betis was being a hard enemy, an enemy that didn’t want to put their arms down because they knew they were better. Real Madrid was still looking for the other goal, the goal of victory but it was going to be a hard road to get there.
Betis was tired and they knew they couldn’t keep the same level of pressure as they did in the first half, but they were trying. Pepe Mel made the first substitution and Mourinho clearly wasn’t even thinking of that. At the 73rd minute, after a long search for the goal, Cristiano Ronaldo made his second goal of the game. A corner kick was conceded to Real Madrid. Özil made the kick, and it was headed from Sergio Ramos toward the goalkeeper. The keeper managed to clear the shot, but it landed on the feet of Cristiano who didn’t hesitate to shoot and the game was again in favor to Real Madrid.
The game was full of goal-scoring occasions for both team; big ones for Betis that, with the help of the crossbar and Iker Casillas, didn’t go in and for Real Madrid, who never go home saying they didn’t have a chance. Some of Madrid’s shots didn’t go in because sometimes the compass in the players was a little bit broken. But Betis showed Madrid and to the world how big they are and why Mourinho was right to fear them. I think it was a pleasure for both of them to play this game.
The referee had some good and bad calls just like always; a few hands in the area for both teams and some yellow cards that he decided not to put out. In the first half, the first referee, Iturralde, had a little injury so he had to changed places with the fourth referee. For some, the second half was better than the first, but I leave that to you.
There are no small games because when you go in to the pitch thinking you’re superior, you can go home feeling like you’re inferior. Every game counts and three points can lead you to greatness.
Malaga 1 – Levante 0
Real Sociedad 3 – Zaragoza 0
Sporting 1 – Sevilla 0
Betis 2 – Real Madrid 3