Real Betis 2-1 Real Madrid: 5 Hits and Flops as Los Blancos lose again | La Liga 2019-20
- A look at five hits and flops, as Real Betis claimed a memorable win - their second of 2020 - against title challengers Real Madrid...
Real Betis worked tirelessly, defended well and were clinical during a memorable 2-1 win over La Liga giants Real Madrid, as goals from Sidnei and substitute Cristian Tello stunned Zinedine Zidane's men at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.
Real have now won just one of their last five games across all competitions, after a 2-1 away defeat by an inconsistent Betis side - who leapfrog two sides into 12th following this result.
Joan Rubi's men were just five points above the relegation places before kick-off on Sunday evening, though delivered a spirited display to record their first LaLiga win since January 19 against Real Sociedad, the second of 2020.
After half-chances by Marcelo and Vinicius Jr were squandered in the first half-hour, Betis took charge and broke the deadlock after 40 minutes.
Thibaut Courtois was forced into a brilliant reflex save to deny Nabil Fekir, minutes before the Frenchman created the hosts' opener. Ramos bundled Fekir over in the box but as play continued, the loose ball fell to centre-back Sidnei of all players. He blasted goalwards at Courtois' near post, watching it fly beyond the Belgian with aplomb.
Their lead lasted all of five minutes though, as Sidnei went from hero to villain in first-half stoppage-time after being penalised for a mistimed challenge on compatriot Marcelo in the box. The referee had no choice but to award a spot-kick, which was duly converted by Karim Benzema - netting his first goal since February 1.
Luka Modric made a goal-saving interception 10 minutes after the restart, as combination play between Fekir, Sergio Canales and Joaquin saw the latter through on-goal after rounding Courtois in the area. After 70 minutes, substitute Ferland Mendy saw a speculative effort cannon back off the crossbar after Modric forced an important stop by Joel Robles before Betis retook their slender lead.
Cristian Tello made it 2-1, as the hosts capitalised on a costly mistake in possession by Benzema. His sideways pass towards Ramos wasn't powerful enough, which saw the Spaniard effortlessly dispossessed by an alert Andres Guardado. He accelerated in transition before feeding substitute Tello, who remained calm under pressure and waited for Courtois to move before cooly slotting his effort into the bottom corner.
Despite their pressure forcing a few promising chances late on, Real failed to find the all-important equaliser and were left ruing another preventable defeat. Without further ado, here's a look at the hits and flops from a memorable night:
#5 Flop: Loren Moron
This was a frustrating watch for Loren, who was largely on the periphery and not afforded many opportunities to excel in the final third like his savvy teammates against a Real backline there for the taking. The 26-year-old may have a career-high nine La Liga goals to his name already this term, but never truly seemed likely he'd add to that on this occasion.
With one off-target effort, he registered a game-low 22 touches, won three of 10 duels contested, lost possession on nine separate occasions and was more of an occupying presence in attack than anything else.
This was certainly a frustrating game from his perspective, one that passed him by as Los Blancos didn't afford their hosts much opportunity to create intricate openings and this meant he wasn't their outlet in forward roles - most of their chances came through counter-attacks.