Real Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu as the La Liga season draws to a close for the champions.
In an entertaining but goalless opening period, the best chance of the half fell to Karim Benzema in the eighth minute, who saw his half-volley from close-range bravely blocked by Marc Bartra.
Madrid came out of the blocks quickest in the second half, and another chance was presented to the Frenchman in the opening exchanges. He met Daniel Carvajal’s cross on the volley to steer a drilled effort towards goal, initially parried out by Rui Silva before Rodrygo snatched at the rebound, but saw his effort deflected wide.
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In a game where Madrid struggled to pick the lock of the Betis defence, the hosts were forced to try their luck from long-range on several occasions, but couldn’t trouble goalkeeper Silva who made a handful of important saves.
The result meant nothing to Madrid who have already confirmed their status as champions, but it does mean Betis have secured fifth place.
TALKING POINT - BETIS SECURE FIFTH PLACE
It’s been a great season for Real Betis, who topped off their impressive campaign with a clean sheet at one of the hardest places to go to in Europe. They made it too difficult for Madrid to find a way past them, and had one or two great chances to win the game themselves.
The Copa Del Rey champions won’t be too bothered, though. They’ve met their targets this season, most significantly securing a spot in next season’s Europa League, whilst also adding a first major honour to their trophy cabinet since 2005.
MAN OF THE MATCH - VINICIUS JUNIOR (REAL MADRID)
He’s shown it all season long, but Real Madrid have a serious talent on their hands in Vinicius. He showed his blistering pace, tricky feet and impressive energy throughout the 90 minutes tonight, and looked most likely to link up with Karim Benzema and find a way past the Betis goalkeeper.
It was one of those games where Madrid had nothing riding on it, and it can be difficult to put in a tireless shift in the Spanish heat - especially with a Champions League final on the horizon - but he looked dangerous throughout and on another night could have had a couple of assists to his name.
REAL MADRID: Courtois 6, Carvajal 7, Militao 7, Nacho 7, Mendy 7, Casemiro 6, Kroos 6, Modric 7, Rodrygo 6, Vinicius 8, Benzema 6
Subs: Cabellos 5, Marcelo 6, Valverde 6, Camavinga 6, Isco 5
REAL BETIS: Silva 8, Sabaly 7, Pezzella 7, Bartra 7, Moreno 6, Rodriguez 7, Guardado 7, Canales 7, Fekir 6, Juanmi 6, Jose 6
Subs: Rodri 6, Joaquin 5, Carvalho 6, Tello N/A, Iglesias N/A
8’ - BENZEMA SHOT BLOCKED - Bartra puts his body on the line to block Benzema's half-volley from inside the box.
19’ - JOSE GOES CLOSE! After Casemiro lost the ball outside the Madrid penalty box, Jose picked up the loose ball and lashed it towards goal from the edge of the area, but it was a whisker wide of Courtois' goal.
36’ - MADRID COME CLOSE - Kroos plays a superb ball down the left flank for Vinicius to run on to, who looks to find Benzema on the edge of the box, who trips before the ball arrives at Rodrygo's feet, but he scuffs it and Betis get it clear. The Madrid fans want a penalty on that Benzema trip, but it was outside the box anyway.
51’ - MADRID NEARLY TAKE THE LEAD! That's the closest we've come! Benzema meets Carvajal's cross on the volley and steers his effort towards goal, which is parried out by Silva before Rodrygo snatches at the rebound but sees it deflected behind.No corner given though!
88’ - WHAT A CHANCE TO WIN IT! Joaquin is presented with a great chance in front of goal from close-range, but blasts it over! That's the best chance of the game gone begging!
- Real Madrid have failed to score five games at Santiago Bernabéu in La Liga this season, their highest tally as a local team in a single season in the competition level with 1984/95 & 1993/94 campaigns.
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