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Deportivo La Coruña
18 January 2014
• Estadio Benito Villamarín, Sevilla
Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
• Attendance: 42421
Cristiano Ronaldo 10'
G. Bale 25'
K. Benzema 45'+
Á. di María 62'
Álvaro Morata 90'
That's it from me, it's been a pleasure. See you next time!
So, as expected, los Blancos keep a clean sheet en route to a convincing victory against la Liga's bottom side. They move level on points, at least provisionally, with Atletico and Barca at the top of the table. Five goals, five different scorers for the visitors. Betis thumped again at home, and the crowd are letting them know exactly what they think.
90' + 2'
That's it folks! Madrid win comfortably!
Assist Cristiano Ronaldo
Marcelo whips in a devilish ball with the outside of his boot to Ronaldo, whose attempted overhead kick hits Morata in the chest. The assistant referee correctly keeps his flag down, and the substitute is left with the simplest of pokes into the back of the net from point blank range!
MORATA MAKES IT FIVE!
Another chance for los Blancos to add a fifth, as Ronaldo sprints clear down the flanks and finds fellow speedster Bale, but the latter cannot test Andersen with his finish!
OOOH...Marcelo comes close to adding a fifth with a piledriver from the top of the box, but his effort is agonizingly just off the top corner of the Betis goal!
Modric forces a smart save from Andersen, who needs an extra touch to take it off the toes of Bale, who was primed for the tap in!
Juanfran whips a good cross into the box that is met by Paulao, but the defender is not close to finding the target.
The game starting to wind down, and Madrid finally looked satisfied with this four goal advantage.
Yellow Card Chica
Chica is late in the challenge on Nacho, taking him out completely and earning himself a yellow.
On comes Morata in the third and final change for the Spanish giants. The young forward has been heavily tipped to depart the Bernabeu on a temporary basis, most likely to Arsenal. Ancelotti though has made it clear that he is a part of his plans.
Yellow Card Vadillo
The Croatian plays it square across the edge of the box, and Ronaldo, in a rehearsed move, attacks the ball but skies it well over the top of the bar.
Didac Vila gets his name taken for clipping Benzema off the ball. Free kick chance for the visiting side, and Modric looks to swing this one in...
Should the chips not fall their way, then Betis could find themselves 10 points off safety by the end of play this weekend. It's already looking critical for the Seville side.
Ángel Di María
Off goes the irrepressible Di Maria, and on come Illarramendi. The Argentine has been in the doghouse with the fans this season, but they show their love for him as he departs.
Benzema takes a snap shot on the turn, but misses the post cleanly.
Andersen seemed to be making a recovery, but Di Maria's golazo has sucked what little life remained out of this Betis side. Still, he is called into action again to stop Ronaldo's daisy cutter.
Goal Ángel Di María
A Madrid corner was seemingly cleared out of danger, but from fully 35 yards, Di Maria hammers a perfect effort into the bottom corner! Andersen dived this time, but could not do a thing to stop it!
MAGNIFICENT FROM DI MARIA!
ANDERSEN YET AGAIN! Benzema drills from the top of the box, but the Betis stopper, who is growing into the game, pushes it away!
Another opening for Ronnie to get himself a goal yet again, but his low angler towards the bottom corner is well met by Andersen and saved with some distinction.
Delay on the field now, as Xabi Alonso receives a meaty aerial challenge and needs a spot of treatment.
Madrid continue to monopolize the ball, and Betis are chasing shadows at the moment. It seems like only a matter of time before the visitors get their fourth goal.
Madrid come within a hair of adding a fourth, and no surprise to see Ronaldo on the end of things. The Portuguese latches onto Benzema's ball, but Andersen is just about equal to his close range shot!
Ronaldo has another shooting opportunity from the edge of the box, this time from open play. He gets a mot of muscle behind his shot, but it's drilled the wrong side of the post.
Chance for Madrid from a set piece after a careless foul by Paulao, but Ronaldo skies it well over the bar.
Here we go again!
Three moments of individual brilliance have sent Madrid into what looks like an unassailable lead at the break. Ronaldo, Bale ad Benzema have all made their mark in what has been a professional job from Ancelotti's men. Betis have had one or two glimpses, but they can have no complaints about the score. Join me for the restart shortly.
45' + 2'
45' + 1'
Assist Luka Modric
45' + 1'
Goal Karim Benzema
Another splendid move from the visitors, as Modric sprints onto a loose ball, twists away from two defenders and tees up Benzema for an acute finish into the left hand side! That marks 100 Madrid goals for the French striker, only the 19th player in the club's history to accomplish that feat!
45' + 1'
BENZEMA RACKS UP HIS CENTURY!
Only a minute of stoppage time to go to end the half.
The attacks are coming thick and fast down the flanks from both sides, and yet another ball in from out wide is nearly prodded home by Bale, but Benzema, in his own eagerness to get on the scoresheet, takes the shot off his toes!
WHAT A WASTE! Baptistao puts in an absolute diamond of a cross into the box, that beats Ramos and is a tap in waiting to happen! Castro seems primed to do the honours, but somehow, he doesn't make contact with the ball. Had he thrown himself at that one, it would have surely been a goal!
Ramos floats a flat cross into the box and his central defensive partner Pepe is the one to connect with it, but he cannot generate anything on it to trouble Andersen.
Chica's cross into the box is a pretty special one and is there to be hit...but thankfully for the visitors, Ramos is the first one to make contact with the ball, and he removes the danger!
Betis starting to come out of their shell a little more in the attacking third, and are forcing the visitors to do some defending in the last few moments.
Benzema puts the ball home, but an offside call halts him from racking up his 100th goal for Real Madrid.
Betis are trying to string a few passes together in the attacking third, but the movement is just not there from the front three. And with Ronaldo, Bale and Di Maria filing in behind Benzema, the visitors have the potential to shock and awe on the counter.
Bale, by the way, has now reached double figures in goals for los Blancos this season. Really worth taking a look at that free kick post match if you can, some unorthodox but delicious technique all the same. Or both goals for that matter, as Ronaldo's strike was well worth a few replays on its own.
Sevilla takes a yellow for the team with a late challenge on Bale.
Yellow Card Salva Sevilla
For the second time, Andersen could only stand and watch as the ball sailed into the net. He was gesturing to his teammates that he could not see the ball - a weakness that Madrid can further exploit?
Goal Gareth Bale
A free kick from 20 or so yards out is taken on by the Welshman, who dips one up and down over the wall. A knuckle-ball of a free kick that bulges the back of the net.
IT'S SUMPTUOUS FROM BALE! 2-0!
Benzema showing some rare but encouraging hustle, chasing down Matilla to win back a ball that he had originally lost with a substandard first touch.
OH MY...what a chance for Madrid! Some superlative play from Ronaldo sees him slice and dice a pair of Betis defenders, and spotting the run of Bale towards the far post, he pokes the ball across the goalline, but the Welshman cannot read it in time!
Ramos picks up his eighth yellow card of the season with a heavy sliding challenge into Baptistao. Deserved booking, but not much more than that.
Yellow Card Sergio Ramos
The game settling into a more leisurely pace as the half has worn on. Madrid looking comfortable.
Matilla and Di Maria both get good crosses into the box within seconds of each other, but neither Castro nor Benzema can rise in time to get on the end of the respective deliveries. Some end to end stuff at the moment.
Didac with a wonderful shimmy to free himself from the clutches of Modric, but his attempted threaded pass is not enough to get Baptistao on his bike.
Monday marks the one-year anniversary of Iker Casillas' expulsion from the Madrid XI. It has been 38 games - or one season for the uninitiated - since the Spain captain has started a league game for the capital outfit. Incredible, and you have to wonder how much longer he will want to waste away on the bench given that he's the wrong side of 30.
Assist Ángel Di María
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
With a devastating turn of pace, he beats Paulao, and with an even more fatal swing of his right boot, Ronaldo unleashes a hellacious bullet high into the back of the net from outside the box. Andersen had absolutely no chance! 1-0!
WHAT A STRIKE FROM RONALDO TO OPEN THE SCORING!
Castro gives the home fans something to cheer with a shot from about 20 yards, but Diego Lopez is all the way behind it and catches the ball with little difficulty.
Bale shows some piston-like motion to chase down a seemingly lost ball, and hook a cross from the byeline into the mixer. Betis forced to head clear for a corner...which comes to nothing.
Madrid lost all of their visits to Andalusia last season, but it's a different story this campaign, with two wins in two trips so far.
Strong start from the visitors as one might would expect. Ronaldo dazzles the crowd with a lovely flicked touch. What a week it has been for the newly minted Fifa Ballon D'Or winner.
And Betis get us underway.
Hard for me to argue any sort of case for the hapless Seville side this afternoon. Even Madrid's B team would be in with a shout here. I expect nothing less than a hefty los Blancos win, and quite possibly a fifth straight clean sheet.
Madrid's only losses in the league this season have come at the hands of the two sides above them in the table. Los Blancos have been stellar away from the Bernabeu, racking up 23 points from a possible 30 on their travels. They're also tied with Barca on 53 goals scored - the most in the division. Not good omens for the hosts today.
Garrido's men are a full five points off 19th place Rayo Vallecano - a far cry from the hunt for the top four that largely dominated the discourse of their previous campaign. This term, their scoring record of 16 goals ranks as the worst in the division, while, with 38 goals conceded, only Rayo can lay claim to a more porous defence.
A great chance for Madrid to put some pressure on city and Clasico rivals Atletico and Barcelona. Betis are propping up the Liga standings, with an unsightly record of two wins, five draws and a dozen losses in the opening half of the season.
Juan Garrido names Atletico Madrid loanee Leo Baptistao in attack alongside Diego Castro and the returning Jorge Molina. Didac Vila also makes a rare start for the home side in defence in what has been a rather anonymous loan spell from AC Milan so far.
Groin-grabber extraordinaire Angel di Maria returns to the starting XI in place of Jese Rodriguez, while Dani Carvajal beats out competition from Alvaro Arbeloa to begin the game at right back. There's also spots from the start for Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.
REAL BETIS (4-3-3): Andersen; Chica, Paulao, Amaya, Didac; Lolo, Matilla, Sevilla; Leo, Molina, Castro.
REAL MADRID (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Alonso; Bale, Di Maria, Ronaldo; Benzema.
The teams are in...
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Real Madrid's visit to Estadio Benito Villamarin to take on Real Betis. My name is Keeghann Sinanan, and I'll be bringing you all the action as it happens.
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