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Deportivo La Coruña
11 March 2012
• Estadio Benito Villamarín, Sevilla
Referee: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez
• Attendance: 55000
FULL-TIME! Madrid hold onto the win and head 13 points clear of Barcelona. Ronaldo's double doing the damage yet Betis were extremely unlucky to lose the game after having more than their fair share of chances. That's all from me, Luke Matthews tonight. I hope you enjoyed the game as much I did; certainly one of the games of the season. Buenas Noches!
90' + 3'
Betis are appealing for a penalty as Montero's stike is blocked by Ramos. To me, it looked like it hit his thigh despite his arm being up.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Arbeloa
Three minutes of added time...
Less than one minute left now plus injury time. Madrid have a throw-in on the right wing as they count down the minures. Mourinho's men have been nowhere near their best but they have showed champion qualities.
Madrid are seeing more of the ball still as Paulao copes well to win the ball in his own box as Callejon was lurking nearby. Betis are still fighting for this but time is running out.
For the first time in the game, Madrid actually look in control of proceedings. Still, this has been a superb game and I really would not rule out another goal.
Another effort from Ronaldo! The Portuguese attacker tries his luck from outside the box yet the keeper is equal to his awkward bouncing effort, parrying it to safety.
Los Blancos nearly make it 4-2! Granero's pass falls to Ronaldo in the box who just drags his effort wide of the goal.
Can Madrid hold into their lead? They have replaced Kaka with Granero while Callejon is now on for Higuain.
Roque Santa Cruz
Assist Sergio Ramos
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
3-2 MADRID! Kaka's corner meets the head of Ramos who sees his effort brilliantly saved by Fabricio yet Ronaldo is there to hit the ball on the half volley from close range to restore the visitor's lead.
Ozil attempts an ambitious effort from 30 metres out yet it's dreadful as the ball bounces way wide of the target.
Betis' energy levels are still looking good here which is perhaps surprising considering how much effort they have put into this game.
Molina is off for Betis with Pozuelo coming on for him. Who will score the next goal?
BETIS ARE APPEALING FOR A PENALTY! The ball strikes Arbeloa's hand after bouncing up from his mishit clearance. Replays show that Madrid are very lucky to not be penalised for that.
WHAT A GAME! End-to-end for the first hour and we still have plenty of time left in it for some more goals. Marcelo comes rummaging forward and smashes an effort from the edge of the box yet the keeper makes a smart save, parrying the ball to safety.
BETIS NEARLY MAKE IT 3-2! Castro storms into the box before seeing his effort well blocked by Casillas as Montero's rebounded effort is stopped by the Spain No. 1.
Breathtaking stuff here with both teams looking completely open at the back. Try and pick a winner! I can't at the moment.
Goal Jefferson Antonio Montero
2-2! BETIS ARE LEVEL! Salva's corner isn't the best yet it doesn't matter as the ball bounces up of Arbeloa's chest into the path of Montero who slams it past a helpless Casillas from 15 yards. Superb finish from the Ecuadorian on-loan from Villarreal. That's his first goal for Betis.
A little harsh on Betis really, that goal. The home side have been full of attacking intent but there defence let them down there. Nacho is injured after being shoulder barged off the ball by Ozil. Betis have a corner...
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
2-1 MADRID! Ronaldo is the man who is on hand to sweep the ball home. Kaka's chipped pass into the box is volleyed across the six-yard line by Marcelo with Ronaldo nipping in to divert the ball past the onrushing keeper.
Madrid are appealing for a free-kick on the edge of the box as Ronaldo's shot appears to hit the arm of Paulao. No set-piece awarded which is probably fair enough.
Madrid have hardly touched the ball since the interval which is probably their cue to go and score. The next goal in this game is so crucial.
Bright start to the second period by the home team with Molina nearly being played through by Salva.
Back underway here. We have had one change at the break but it's not a player who has made way. The fourth official is on for the referee who has pulled a muscle.
On Twitter now, Mourya believes Madrid will win 4-2 while Ayoola Toriola thinks it will be a draw. My prediction you ask? I fancy Madrid to nick it, 2-1.
HALF-TIME! The teams go in level at the break with Higuain's strike cancelling out Molina's 10th minute effort. It has been end-to-end stuff here and Betis are unlucky not to be leading. Saying that, Madrid came close to adding a second twice just before the break. Don't go anywhere folks! Second half coming up in 15 minutes and it promises to be a cracker!
Superb half of football here which has been non-stop action. Betis have been superb while Madrid have been far from their best.
FABRICIO DENIES RONALDO! Marcelo's clever pass finds the Portuguese attacker unmarked yet the keeper is out quickly to divert striker's effort out for a corner.
Superb free-kick by Salva which was tipped onto the bar by Casillas before Madrid cleared the ball and counter-attacked Betis with Ozil's ball to Higuain slightly over-hit as the Argentine smashed it wide.
Castro plays a wonderful ball towards Molina who controls well to get into the Madrid box. However his second touch is poor and allows Ramos to come to the rescue and clear the ball from danger.
Wasted ball by Higuain who attempts to pick out Ronaldo who is in the box. It's an audacious pass which drifts out of play for a goalkick.
Yellow Card Gonzalo Higuaín
Still 1-1 here as Betis continue to hold their own. Madrid are in search of their 10 consecutive away win tonight by the way.
Yellow Card Kaká
Few of your thoughts on Twitter now. Akingbade Akinunmi thinks Betis will win 3-1 while Ernest Kerisma is convinced Madrid will win but only by a narrow scoreline because of their 'unlucky' red kit. Keep sending your thoughts and predictions to me on Twitter @LukasMaf.
Yellow Card Iriney
Higuain is struggling a little here as he has taken a knock to the head. The Argentine looks okay to continue though despite Callejon warming up on the sidelines.
Another attempt on target for Betis as Montero's run eventually leads to the ball being played to Castro. The striker shoots from the edge of the box but it's straight down the throat of Casillas who catches the ball.
Very entertaining game this with both sides looking to get forward. Fair play to Betis who despite conceding, are looking for a second.
Madrid are in control now as Kaka attempts his luck from the egde of the box but Fabrizio gets down well to hold onto the ball.
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
1-1! MADRID EQUALISE! Ozil punts the ball through to Higuain who is played onside by Paulao and the Argentine makes his way into the box before slamming it home while under pressure from Dorado. Superb finish.
Benat attempts a through ball to Montero yet the defensive midfielder overhits the ball. Not the greatest of passes there but Betis are looking very solid so far.
Betis take the corner short as Benat is the player to launch the ball into the box. Dorado gets on the end of it but his effort is comfortably over the bar.
Looking back at replays of the goal it appears the ball may have brushed Castro's hand as he controlled it. Saying that, no Madrid player appealed against it and it would have been really harsh to penalise the striker there.
Mourinho's men look a little shellshocked at the moment although they are seeing more of the ball again.
Betis are coming forward again as Castro does well to twist and turn past Khedira. The forward then attempts to chip Casillas from the edge of the box yet it's a poor effort and drifts harmlessly wide.
Wow, what a start we have here with the league leaders falling behind. Saying that, despite their brilliant form this season, Los Blancos have fallen behind on numerous occasions and still picked up all three points.
Assist Rubén Castro
Goal Jorge Molina
1-0 BETIS! The home team take the lead on their first venture forward. Nacho's ball picks out Castro who controls it brilliantly just inside the box before passing to an unmarked Molina who smashes it past Casillas into the roof of the net.
Good defensive play by Nacho who shields the ball out of play after Kaka overhits it. The Brazilian was close to his best last weekend. Will he keep up his impressive form tonight?
The visitors have settled the stronger of the two teams so far and the danger for Betis is the fact that Ronaldo, Kaka and Ozil all look sharp in the early stages.
First shot on target now for Madrid. Kaka picks out Ronaldo who shoots from 25 metres out, forcing a solid save from Fabricio who turns it around the post for a corner.
Paulap's headed clearance from Marcelo's ball into the box is poor and lands straight to the feet of Ozil. However, the German thrashes at his effort from the edge of the box, putting the ball way wide.
We are underway here with Madrid kicking off. The visitors give the ball away almost instantly.
Madrid have scored 85 goals this season and if Betis have any hope of picking up points, they will need to be watertight at the back. Betis are in their green and white striped shirts with white shorts and green socks while Madrid where their third kit which is all red.
Both sets of players are now emerging onto the pitch now. Does anyone think Betis can cause a shock and take all three points tonight?
As you can see, Madrid make only one change from the team who defeated Espanyol 5-0 last week. Pepe, returning from suspension, comes in for Carvalho who himself is now serving a one-match ban. Betis are unchanged from the team who lost 3-1 to Levante on Monday.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Ronaldo, Kaka, Ozil; Higuain Subs: Adan, Granero, Benzema, Albiol, Varane, Callejon, Diarra
Real Betis (4-3-3): Fabrizio; Nelson, Paulao, Dorado, Nacho; Salva, Iriney, Benat; Castro, Molina, Montero Subs: Casto, Matilla, Canas, Pozuelo, Juanma, Santa Cruz, Super
Here come the teams...
Remember, you can let me know your opinions and predictions on the game via Twitter @LukasMaf.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Real Betis against Real Madrid from the Benito Villamarin. I'm Luke Matthews and I'll be guiding you through tonight's action. Jose Mourinho's men will be hoping to earn their 11th consecutive Liga win this season to move 13 points clear of Barcelona. Betis on the otherhand would welcome a positive result as they look to secure their league status.
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