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August 18, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Jesús Gil
• Attendance: 76870
K. Benzema 26'
Jorge Molina 14'
That's it from me, it's been a pleasure. Bye for now.
It was a late, late goal from the impressive Isco that eventually won the game for Madrid, and gave Ancelotti an important three points to start his reign. Betis drove them hard all the way, but come up empty handed.
90' + 4'
And that's it! Madrid 2-1 Betis is the final score!
90' + 3'
Final minute of added time and it seems like Betis simply have nothing left.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card N. Igiebor
90' + 1'
Ronaldo falls over himself under pressure after trying to chop inside his man on the left. An opportunity to milk the clock wasted.
Three added minutes to go...three minutes for Betis to find a way back.
Tough, tough luck on Betis, but to be quite honest, their second half performance has not lived up to the exceptionally high standards of their first.
ISCO, ISCO, ISCO HAS DONE IT!!!!! Marcelo with his umpteenth contribution offensively, whipping in a delightful cross towards the heart of the box, and Isco is there to nod home!
Not quite the gung ho ending to the game from Madrid, considering they stand to gain only a point from this game with the score as it is. Even the crowd seem somewhat dented.
Very nearly from Marcelo, showing great technique to send his second volleyed cross of the game into the area from Casemiro's pass. Morata was just, just behind the ball, inches from slotting it home.
DI MARIA! A flowing Madrid move started by Modric, who skins his man on the left, and squares to Ronaldo at the top of the box. He wastes no time in playing in Di Maria, whose low drive dents the side netting.
Di Maria drives at goal from nearly 30 yards out, but Andersen again is there to parry the effort. Once more, it was a save that you would expect the keeper to make. But he still has to make it, so credit where it's due.
Ramos bailed out by the whistle after tussling with Vadillo on the right, could have been a foul either way.
RONALDO AGAIN! Another dangerous free kick is laced towards goal by the Portuguese international, but it dips onto the roof of the net. Andersen looked to have had it just about covered, though.
Nosa really has the jump, quite literally on the Madrid defence, he is presented with another free header, but cannot steer it on target.
RONALDO FORCES ANOTHER SAVE FROM ANDERSEN! A 25-yard free kick is bent low to the right side, but the keeper reacts well to push it away!
Ángel Di María
And the swap is confirmed, Ozil off for Di Maria.
RONALDO DENIED! Efforts in quick succession from the Portuguese international are thwarted by Andersen! Madrid go very close!
Di Maria is being readied on the sidelines...looks like Ozil will be the one to make way.
And suddenly Cedric is on his bike, sprinting towards goal with the ball. But Pepe is hot on his heels, and just manages to put the Congolese off the shot, poking the ball over the line!
Another good ball into the Betis penalty area, but Nosa is back in time to head the ball away, good covering play.
Increasingly intense flank play from Madrid, seemingly adopting the strategy of Betis in the first half. The visitors, by the way, have left all their momentum before the interval.
And the sub has been made, Casemiro, the former Sao Paolo player, is on for Khedira.
Not much from Betis in the second half, it seems like Ancelotti's work at the break has taken its toll. Khedira is down meanwhile, limping to the sidelines, and it looks like Casemiro will replace him.
OH MY...how have Madrid not scored! A delightful sequence between Isco and Marcelo sees the full back break free down the left and cross right in front of the face of goal. Ronaldo cannot connect, but Benzema does at the far post...however it's shanked over!
Yellow Card Luka Modric
Hard follow through from Carvajal on his tormenter in chief Cedric. No malice intended, but a tough blow for the Congolese to take, and he needs a second to recover.
Juanfran steps left and right, and slips a cross right through the midfield, but Pepe is onto it ahead of Cedric. And Pepe is not happy, ripping into his midfield for that slip up!
RONALDO HAMMERS IT AGAINST THE CROSSBAR after slipping into the box unmarked! The ball is worked back into the box, but Chica gets his head onto the ball in a dangerous area!
Here we go again!
Wonderful, very impressive play from Real Betis, who have exceeded Madrid out on the pitch. The visitors took the lead early on through Molina, but Benzema leveled matters up during the lone positive spell for los Blancos in the first half. It's all to play for after the break, so stay tuned!
45' + 1'
And that's it, we're at half time!
Betis taking the game right to Madrid in their own back yard! Cedric gets the ball in a good position, but hesitates a second too long and cannot pick out a teammate.
Verdu comes through and fools Ramos, who barges him down in the box. The ref allows play to continue, and Juanfran tries to bend it into the corner from close range, but Lopez is there to save.
ANOTHER DISALLOWED GOAL! Benzema this time has the ball in the back of the net from a long pass forward, but he again strayed in front of the last defender!
Suddenly, the ball is whipped into the Madrid box from Juanfran. Cedric assumes his customary position streaming ahead of Carvajal, and tries to dive onto the ball, but it bounces just, just over his head!
Carvajal in particular has had a baptism of fire against Cedric and Co. After his standout Bundesliga campaign, the right-back was brought back to replace the distinctly average Alvaro Arbeloa, widely considered to be the weakest link in the Madrid XI. But he has had a torrid time, if I'm honest, and the fans are not exactly in a mood to be understanding, it seems.
The whistles and jeers raining down from the stands, as Betis again take the upper hand. 1-1 is a completely fair scoreline, though, given the nature of the game.
NOSA SMACKS ONE OFF THE CROSSBAR! Free header for the 22-year-old, Carvajal completely asleep, but he cannot get it that inch lower despite getting a ton of force behind his attempt!
Diego Lopez is not looking entirely comfortable dealing with the aerial barrage from Betis.
Carvajal very very lucky to avoid conceding a corner after challengeing Cedric for the ball. Replays suggested that the signing from Bayer Leverkusen had the last touch.
Molina takes aim on a Betis foray, but it's met with confidence by Lopez.
Yellow Card Matilla
Matilla has been booked for clattering into Isco. First yellow of the game.
It looks to be full steam ahead for Madrid, who have the wind in their sails. But Betis, lest we forget, have danger of their own, and can punish them at any time.
Goal Karim Benzema
RIGHT ON CUE, BENZEMA TIES IT UP! Isco triggers the French striker down that gaping left flank, and he makes no mistake with his finish, drilling it home!
Tell you what, this has been an incredible response from Real Madrid since conceding. They've slammed their foot right down on the pedal, keeping pressure right around the Betis box...it seems only a matter of time before they level.
Javi Chica, the right back for Betis, is having a sieve of a game - its Ronaldo's turn to make inroads down his side. The Portuguese cuts back onto his right peg, but drives the wrong side of the post! Andersen can only watch!
Madrid clearly targeting the right flank of Betis...they breach again through Marcelo, whose low centre just flashes in front of everyone but misses the post narrowly!
There's no way quite to describe the expression on Perquis' face. The defender has turned the ball into his own net twice this game, but both times, the referee's whistle saved his bacon.
MADRID HAVE ANOTHER ONE CHALKED OFF! Ozil weaves his wand, and delivers to Isco streaming down the left. he drills into the six yard area, the ball is bundled home, but again, the whistle for offside on the overlap rules out the effort!
Someone has suddenly lit a fire below Cedric, who is terrorizing the Madrid defence. And to think, he was picked up on a free transfer from Numancia...bargain?
CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER! Again, the Congolese leaves a Madrid man for dead, t his time down the left. He plows through right towards the byeline, fires it into the box, and Verdu takes aim unmarked from 10 yards...but misses! Should have been 2-0!
Goal Jorge Molina
Molina pokes the bal home from six yards out, but every single ounce of credit must go to Cedric for some incredible work to set up that goal! The former Numancia man barrels and barnstorms through three players right into the box from the halfway line, and puts the ball on a plate for his teammate!
GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL FOR BETIS!
Two, three, four men on Ronaldo every time he gets the ball. Very little room to wheel and deal for the Portuguese.
One touch cross from Marcelo, trying to volley the ball into the path of Ronnie and Benz in the mixer, but he shanks it ever so slightly, gifting possession back to the visitors via a goal kick.
Offside, on Benzema, a correct call after the French striker slips in behind the defence onto Modric's pass. His run was taken way too early.
And suddenly Molina is through! The Madrid defence is caught completely out as Betis get in behind, but out comes Lopez, covering for his defence, and hacks the ball away just in time!
Some hesitation from Pepe nearly allows Betis to get a run in on Diego Lopez, but fortunately for the home side, they just run out of turf and the ball rolls over the byeline.
VERDU - right back at Madrid! A strong header by the attacker ahead of Ramos at the near post forces Lopez into a really strong save!
RULED OUT! Almost a dream start for the hosts, as Ozil finds Marcelo on the overlap, who squares for Ronaldo to tap in. But the linesman just catches Marcelo ahead of the last defender and puts his flag up! Close shave for Betis.
And here we go! Welcome back to la Liga folks!
The players shake hands, the stadium is awash with noise and colour. Kickoff is just around the corner.
Also a fitting way to open the season for Cristiano Ronaldo, who makes his 200th competitive appearance for Real Madrid. New signings Isco and Carvajal also play from the start.
So the Carlo Ancelotti era begins, but old habits die hard, it seems. Despite the wide consensus that Iker Casillas would regain the No. 1 jersey for los Blancos, and despite Ancelotti stating recently that he has not made up his mind on his first choice - the club captain has been dropped from the starting lineup.
REAL BETIS: Andersen; Chica, Perquis, Paulao, Nacho, Matilla, Nosa, Verdu; Juanfran, Cedrick; Jorge Molina.
REAL MADRID: Diego Lopez; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Modric; Isco, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema.
First, let's take a look at our teams.
Greetings one and all, and welcome to Goal's live coverage of Real Madrid's Liga curtain opener against Real Betis. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, and I'll be taking you through the play by play.
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