Create
Notifications

Real Madrid 0-0 Real Betis: 5 talking points as Los Blancos lose more ground in title race | La Liga 2020-21

Los Blancos drew for the second time in last three league games
Los Blancos drew for the second time in last three league games
Sachin Bhat
visit

Real Madrid were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Real Betis in La Liga, suffering another setback in their title defense.

Los Blancos struggled to break down a well-drilled Beticos outfit and slumped to a second stalemate in three games.

Manuel Pellegrini's side could've even won the game outright, as they managed to open up the holders in the second-half and create some fantastic chances, but were let down by some poor finishing and goalkeeping heroics from Thibaut Courtois.

The draw leaves Real Madrid two points off leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand over them, while Barcelona will also be looking to climb above them with two extra games still to play.

Here are the major talking points from Alfredo Di StΓ©fano Stadium:


#1 Real Madrid struggle to break down resolute Betis

Real Betis managed to keep Madrid at bay for the fourth consecutive season
Real Betis managed to keep Madrid at bay for the fourth consecutive season

Real Madrid enjoyed cutting a swathe through Barcelona, Liverpool and Cadiz in recent games. Against each of those sides, they were given plenty of space to work into and made their possession advantage count. But there was no such luxury tonight.

Despite having 58% of the ball, Los Blancos appeared clueless for much of the game. It was yet another example of them struggling to beat sides which employ a low block, while their full-backs couldn't offer an outlet from the wings either.


#2 Real Betis left to rue their wastefulness

Betis had the chances to win the game but squandered every single one of them
Betis had the chances to win the game but squandered every single one of them

Real Betis are a menacing outfit and gave Real Madrid a taste of the same by carving out some good opportunities in the match, especially on the breaks. However, the side was let down by some poor finishing.

In the second-half, particularly, Los Verdiblancos could've easily gone 2-0 up by the final quarter, but Guido Rodriguez fired his effort straight at Courtois despite getting a clear sight at goal, while the Belgian then denied Borja Iglesias one-on-one.

While the Seville outfit deserve credit for an inspired performance in the defense, their finishing left a lot to be desired.

#3 Real Madrid must look for new full-backs

Carvajal was back in the starting line-up after two months, and it showed
Carvajal was back in the starting line-up after two months, and it showed

Real Madrid's issues at full-back positions have been a problem for some time now and tonight served as another reminder of the same. As the side clearly struggled to break down Betis, the full-backs couldn't provide anything of note either.

Daniel Carvajal made one good cross into the box early on but that was the only highlight of his otherwise mediocre night, while Nacho at the other end of the flank rarely ventured forward.

Gone are the days when Marcelo and Carvajal marauded down the flanks and provided excellent crosses for the attackers in the box. It's time for Los Blancos to seek new options that can bolster their attacks from that position and provide crossing outlets.


#4 Guido Rodriguez shines for Betis

Rodriguez is one of the most underrated holding midfielders
Rodriguez is one of the most underrated holding midfielders

You don't often see an opposition player taking home the man-of-the-match award in games involving Real Madrid, unless it's the El Clasico or the Madrid derby. But tonight Guido Rodriguez accomplished the feat with a stormer in midfield.

The 27-year old was crucial to keeping Rodrygo quiet and read the game brilliantly, making three clearances. He completed four of his five attempted tackles and won nine of 13 duels!

He's been a star performer for the Verdiblancos this season and reminded everyone of his exceptional defensive skills again. Soon, we may even see Rodriguez in the Champions League.


#5 Real Madrid's title defense in tatters

Atletico Madrid could go five points clear of Real Madrid tomorrow
Atletico Madrid could go five points clear of Real Madrid tomorrow

Real Madrid have been very erratic this season. The highs of beating Atletico Madrid and Barcelona (in both legs) have been met with the lows of draws and losses to Getafe, Cadiz and Levante.

Such inconsistency has kept the side from taking pole position in La Liga and following another disappointing result tonight, stare at the prospect of falling further behind their rivals.

With just five more games left on their schedule, Zinedine Zidane's side won't get too many chances to recover hereafter, while a tough end to their season awaits too, with Sevilla (h), Granada (a), Athletic Bilbao (a), and Villarreal (h), still to come.

All's not lost yet but everything could be if things continue to go this way. Every game hereon is a must-win game if Real Madrid are to defend their La Liga crown.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
comments icon1 comment
Article image

Go to article

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now