Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane was without Ferland Mendy on the night but was boosted by the recent return of Raphael Varane against Cadiz, who continued to play alongside Eder Militao at the back. Nacho Fernandez filled in at left-back, with Marcelo left on the bench.
Dani Carvajal, who was unavailable for selection for a very long time due to recurring injury issues, was another big name who returned to the XI against Betis. Rodrygo Goes was drafted into the XI on the left of their attack alongside Karim Benzema, while Isco deputized for the injured Toni Kroos and Fede Valverde in the middle of the park.
It was a very dull first 45 minutes at the Alfredo Di Stefano as both sides didn't really threaten to break the deadlock. Both Real Madrid and Betis managed a combined one shot on target throughout the half, which was a relatively comfortable strike from Benzema for Claudio Bravo to save at his near post.
The Blancos and Verdiblancos looked rusty and failed to create too many chances with chief creators Kroos and Nabil Fekir unavailable.
However, Real Madrid were much more inspired in the second 45 minutes and had over 70% of the ball by the midway point of the second half. They were much livelier and came close to finding the opener on a handful of occasions.
Rodrygo's effort to catch Claudio Bravo off guard grazed the woodwork, and Casemiro's brilliant header from a Carvajal cross inside the area was excellently blocked by the visitors. Vinicius Jr made a difference after coming off the bench and tormented a tired Betis backline, but failed to keep his composure in front of goal.
Eden Hazard was given 15 minutes to have a go at Betis, and he looked to be in good touch, but even the majestic Belgian failed to unlock Pellegrini's stubborn side.
Despite pushing forward in numbers as the game went on, it was in vain as Real Madrid failed to breach Betis' backline. Dani Carvajal summed up their display after the game by saying they weren't direct enough in the final third, which was very much the case on Saturday night.
The game delivered another hammer blow to Real Madrid's title aspirations as they now sit two points behind Atletico Madrid and three above Barcelona, albeit having played two games more than the latter.
Here are how the Real Madrid players fared in the tightly-contested affair at the Alfredo Di Stefano.
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois — 7.5/10
The big Belgian registered his fourth successive clean sheet in as many games for Real Madrid. Courtois was as reliable as ever and made two excellent saves to deny Borja Iglesias to keep his side in the game, with one crucial one in the 65th minute. The Real Madrid man will be crucial in their upcoming encounter against his former club, Chelsea.
Dani Carvajal — 6.5/10
The 29-year-old right-back put in a great shift for Real Madrid upon his long-awaited return to the starting XI and completed one of his six crosses in the game. Evidently not at full fitness, but he got a useful 68 minutes under his belt.
Raphael Varane — 7.5/10
Varane got 61 minutes of action upon his return to action in midweek against Cadiz and looked to be back to his best against Betis. The Frenchman had to be wary of the Verdiblancos' threat on the counter and managed to do so despite pushing up regularly. He completed 70 of his 75 passes and won four of five aerial duels. Varane also made more clearances than any Real Madrid player (four).
Eder Militao — 7.5/10
Eder Militao continues to grow in stature for Real Madrid amidst the unavailability of Varane and Sergio Ramos, and it was another composed display from the defender against Betis. He also displayed his ability on the ball and completed eight of his ten long balls, along with 59 of 61 of his passes. Made more interceptions (four) than any Blancos player on the night.
Nacho Fernandez — 6.5/10
Real Madrid's ever-reliable utility man was asked to step in at left-back for Ferland Mendy and did a respectable job. Also played as part of a back three later into the game after Marcelo's introduction. Failed to offer much of an attacking threat.
Luka Modric — 6.5/10
The Croat looked far from his best on the night against Betis upon his return to the starting XI. However, perhaps it has more to do with the amount of football he's played for Real Madrid in recent months, and it could be down to fatigue. Saw a great effort from the edge of the area parried away by Bravo.
Casemiro — 7/10
Despite looking a bit jaded as his midfield teammate Modric, Casemiro was still one of Real Madrid's better players on the night. The Brazilian made more tackles (three) than any Blancos player, saw a superb header blocked, and came close to breaking the deadlock later on, only to be rebuffed by Bravo.
Isco — 6.5/10
Put in a solid shift upon being handed a rare start by Zinedine Zidane, but failed to provide the creative spark that his side needed against Betis. It was a respectable display from the Spaniard, but it was nothing to write home about either.
Marco Asensio — 6/10
Started off the game brightly and had a noteworthy effort earlier on in the game, but saw his influence on the game fade as the game progressed. Nothing much of note from the Spaniard.
Karim Benzema — 6.5/10
The Frenchman received little to no service on the night, due to which he failed to keep up his surreal goalscoring. Saw his only effort on target in the first half saved easily by Bravo at his near post. Benzema was involved in a couple of slick sequences of play alongside Vinicius and Hazard, but it didn't lead to anything substantial.
Rodrygo — 5.5/10
Was handed a start over Vinicius Jr on the night but failed to provide any noteworthy threat on the left-hand side of Real Madrid's attack, with the exception of an attempt that hit the crossbar in the second half. Was a passenger in the first half and was subbed off before the final quarter.
Vinicius Jr (Rodrygo, 59') — 7/10
Provided more of an attacking threat than most players on the pitch since coming on for Rodrygo. Did nearly everything right but fell short in the final third. Squandered arguably the best chance of the game with a brilliant run on the counter with a tame finish, but injected some much-needed directness.
Alvaro Odriozola (Carvajal, 68') — 6.5/10
Odriozola continues to grow in confidence and put up another impressive display in place of Carvajal. Delivered a superb cross for Marcelo late into the game and had two key passes to show for in his short spell on the pitch.
Marcelo (Isco, 68') — 5/10
The Real Madrid veteran smashed a hopeful volley deep into the stands and spurned a couple of great crossing opportunities towards the end despite having a host of targets to hit. Shocking cameo.
Antonio Blanco (Modric, 77') — 6/10
Kept things tidied in the middle and was watchful of Betis' counter when Casemiro pushed higher up.
Eden Hazard (Asensio, 77') — 6/10
Created two chances in his 15-odd minutes on the pitch and looked in decent touch, but it's evident that he still has some way to go to reach full fitness.