Did Real Madrid deserve to win that game? It's difficult to make a case that they did. Real Betis were all over them in the second half, but Solari and his players somehow escape the Benito Villamarin with three points. A Ceballos winner was in the script and the former Betis player delivered. What a match this was.
- 2nd Half
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
Real Betis - Real Madrid
Liga - 14 January 2019
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid
Cleared! Boudebouz gets a cross into the Real Madrid box, but he wasn't really aiming for anyone in particular and the ball is drawn to Ramos, who makes the headed clearance.
Is there enough time for Real Betis to create one last opportunity? The Benito Villamarin seems quite deflated by that Real Madrid goal. Nonetheless, can they build up their team one last time?
Four minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
That goal came against the run of play. It felt like if there was to be a second goal for one of these two teams, it would be Real Betis. But Ceballos' freekick could be a huge moment.
- GoalDani CeballosReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Betis 1 Real Madrid 2 (88 mins - Dani Ceballos). It's a late goal! And it's Ceballos who has scored against his former club! Wouldn't you just know it! Ceballos guides a side-footed freekick into the back of the net. Lopez might have done better with that. His positioning seemed poor!
- OffAntonio SanabriaReal Betis
- OnLoren MorónReal Betis
Moron comes on for Sanabria. Real Madrid are getting ready to take this freekick 22 yards out...
- Yellow cardWilliam CarvalhoReal Betis
Casemiro wins Real Madrid a freekick on the edge of the box and Carvalho is shown a yellow card.
- OffAndrés GuardadoReal Betis
- OnRyad BoudebouzReal Betis
Boudebouz comes on for Real Betis. He will have five minutes, plus stoppage time, to make an impression.
This is a bit better from Real Madrid. Brahim clips a clever pass through to Ceballos, but Carvalho does well to get back and make the intervention before the ball can drop to his feet.
What does this say about Isco's future at Real Madrid? His team need some creativity in the final third, they are ravaged by injuries, and yet he still isn't being trusted by Solari.
- OffFederico ValverdeReal Madrid
- OnBrahim DíazReal Madrid
Well, well, well. Isco sits on the Real Madrid bench as Solari throws on new signing Brahim.
It looks like Real Madrid are about to make a change here. There is activity down on the bench, but I couldn't quite make out who it was. I must say, it didn't look like Isco... [eyes emoji]
Navas does well to catch a dangerous corner kick into the Real Madrid box. That just eased some of the pressure on his team and released Vinicius on a rapid counter attack.
At what point will we see Isco? Real Madrid need someone to drive the ball into the final third of the pitch and create from that area. And yet Isco is still on the bench. What is going on?
What a match this has been. Real Madrid were excellent in the first half and now Real Betis are on top and searching for a second goal that would move them closer to a big win.
- OffSergio ReguilónReal Madrid
- OnDani CeballosReal Madrid
This is an interesting change from Solari. Ceballos is thrown on and he will replace Reguilon... a left back.
What was once looking like a strong defensive performance in this second half is now looking like a passive one. Real Madrid can't get out of their own half. They are pegged back!
I mentioned that Lo Celso was starting to have an influence on this game in this second half and it was his pass that slotted through Canales. Real Betis are on top and looking for a second.
Bartra and Vinicius are in the face of each other. Frustration among the Real Madrid players is starting to build. They have some work to do in the final 30 minutes of this match.
- GoalSergio CanalesReal Betis
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Betis 1 (68 mins - Sergio Canales) Real Madrid 1. The officials have given the goal after a VAR review! It was Lo Celso with the pass through, Canales finished underneath Navas and the replays showed that Carvajal was keeping the Real Betis player on. We are level again!
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Real Betis think that they have equalised, with Canales slipped through on goal and finishing past Navas. The offside flag was up, but we will have a VAR check.
VAR check! The officials are just checking a handball by Nacho in the box. But while it did hit the arm of the Real Madrid defender, there's no way that they could give a penalty for that.
Lo Celso is starting to have a real influence on this match. That will be concerning for Real Madrid. The on loan PSG playmaker has the ability and vision to break down Real's defensive block.
All of a sudden it feels like Real Betis are really banging on the door. The pressure on Real Madrid is relentless, although it's largely just crosses into the box that they are facing.
- Yellow cardFederico ValverdeReal Madrid
Valverde enters the referee's book for a clear pull on the shirt of Lo Celso.
What an effort! Not far away at all! The ball fell nicely for Guardado on the edge of the box, he met it on the full vollety, got his body over it, but the ball flashes just wide of the post. What a goal that would have been.
Real Madrid have lost something from their game following the withdrawal of Benzema at the half time break. The Frenchman is key to holding up the ball and linking up attacking play.
Across the face of goal! That was wicked cross from the right side by Joaquin. The ball flashes right across the six yard box, but there was nobody in a green and white shirt there!
The home side are dominating possession at the moment, but Real Madrid look quite happy to let them have it. Real Betis are struggling to break through the defensive block they face.
It really is quite remarkable that Casemiro manages to avoid so many bookings. That's ANOTHER foul from the Brazilian, this time bringing down Joaquin as he breaks forward.
Seems like this half might be more of a test for Real Madrid than the first half. Real Betis have more energy and have already tested Navas more than they did in the opening 45 minutes.
For the first time in this second half Vinicius has the opportunity to stretch his legs and drive at the Real Betis defence. But Bartra times his tackle perfectly to win the ball from the teenager.
There's much more intent to Real Betis' play at the start of the second half. They are zipping the passes around, trying to shift and pull Real Madrid out of position more effectively.
Shot on target! That's the first time that Real Betis have tested Navas in the Real Madrid goal. Canales was through, but his effort, under pressure, was straight at the goalkeeper.
This will be a big 45 minutes for Real Madrid. It's quite remarkable the team they have out there at the moment. There are so many youngsters! Cristo just another to add to the list.
- OffKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
- OnCristo GonzalezReal Madrid
Benzema can't continue after suffering a dislocated finger and Cristo comes on in his place for the start of the second half.
- End of 1st Half
The second half is under way! Real Madrid have a 1-0 lead over Real Betis in this Liga fixture.
What did you make of the first half? Do Real Madrid deserve to be ahead? Has Solari finally found a system that works for this team? Is there any way back for Betis? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid. Modric's sweet strike is the difference between the two teams at the break, and Real Madrid deserve to be ahead. This has been a good performance.
Benzema injury! Hmmm this might be a problem for Real Madrid. It looks like Benzema might actually have broken a finger here. The replays show that his pinky is, err, not where it's supposed to be.
- Yellow cardSergio RamosReal Madrid
Ramos protests that he won the ball in the tackle on Lo Celso, but he didn't.
How many fouls does Casemiro need to commit before he is shown a yellow card? The Brazilian has this sort of invisibility cloak that somehow means he gets away with so much.
This system is really working for Real Madrid. The game has a certain volatility, so anything could happen, but the way Real Madrid are shifting side to side is stopping Real Betis.
Glancing header! Varane got up to meet a corner kick inside the six yard box, getting above his marker. But the Frenchman was stretching and he puts his header wide of the target.
- Yellow cardLuka ModricReal Madrid
Now Modric enters the book. We are in the midst of a flurry of activity at the Benito Villamarin.
What a chance! What a challenge! This should have been a second goal for Real Madrid, with Valverde played through. But he took too long and that allowed Barragan to make the tackle.
The referee has a word with Casemiro. That probably should have been a yellow card for the Brazilian. He cleaned out Joaquin about 25 yards out from goal. How did he get away with that?
It could be argued that Vinicius is in fact Real Madrid's greatest goal threat in this current team. Benzema is the number nine, but he's dropping deep to pick up the ball and link up play.
That was an interesting insight into the confidence that Vinicius is feeling at the moment. The camera showed him pointing to Benzema where he wants the ball played. Calling the shots.
Vinicius opportunity! That was a chance for Real Madrid to grab a second. It was a lovely move involving Carvajal and Benzema, but Vinicius could only find the gloves of Lopez.
Real Betis started this match on top, but the goal from Modric changed the dynamic of the contest. Real Madrid look good and the system seems to be working well for them.
That's a bit desperate from Lo Celso, and an illustration of how Real Madrid are stopping Real Betis from playing at the moment. The ball dribbles well wide from about 30 yards out.
It seems in this set up that Modric is playing much higher up the pitch. The Croatian plays with a number 10 on his back and it appears that Solari wants him to perform that role.
Modric... over! Once again, the Croatian midfielder has the shooting opportunity from distance. He shifts the ball on to his left foot, but this time Modric puts his effort well over the bar.
You can see why there is so much hype around Vinicius. He is still very raw, and he makes mistakes, but he's so quick and he offers a real goal threat, which is something Real Madrid need.
Questions have been asked of Casemiro recently. He lost his place in the Real Madrid lineup to Llorente for a while, but then Llorente got injured. Casemiro needs to prove his doubters wrong.
Shot on goal! Decent effort from Vinicius, who cuts inside off the left wing and gets a strike away on goal. The effort was straight at Lopez, though, who can make the simple save.
Missing in action...
Lo Celso is being given so much space by Real Madrid between the midfield and the attack. Is that a conscious decision by the away side or is he exposing a flaw in their set up?
Real Betis need to gather themselves. They were just starting to crank things up before conceding that goal, which arguably came against the run of play. They're seeing the ball now.
Modric has been in poor form this season, but he said that he wanted to shoot more often and he has a goal, a very important goal, as a result of that new ethos. Great strike.
Quick VAR check! There's a momentary pause as the officials just check a quick offside decision on that goal, but after about 10 seconds the referee indicates that kick off can happen.
- GoalLuka ModricReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Betis 0 Real Madrid 1 (13 mins - Luka Modric). Perhaps against the run of play, Real Madrid have the lead at the Benito Villamarin! The ball fell nicely to Modric on the edge of the Real Betis box and the Croatian midfielder found the top corner of the net with a sweet, left-footed strike!
This has been a good start by Real Betis. Lo Celso opened up space down the right side by finding Barragan, but the cross into the area was cut out by Casemiro before it could reach a player in green and white.
Indeed, speculation has linked Isco with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu. But injuries to key players like Bale, Kroos and Asensio led some to believe he would start this game. But he hasn't.
Of course, the big headline from this game, at least the pre match headline, is that once again Isco has been left out of the Real Madrid team. Solari just doesn't seem to fancy him.
Some pre-match atmosphere, ICYMI...
Real Betis are already causing Real Madrid some problems with their ability to attack vertically. As we all know, the Real Madrid defence can struggle when opponents run at them.
Into the wall! Ramos takes responsibility for the freekick, but his strike smashes off the top of the Real Betis wall. Not many teams have their centre back take their set pieces...
- Yellow cardAndrés GuardadoReal Betis
Guardado is booked early on for a pretty tough tackle on Vinicius. That warranted a yellow.
One interesting storyline Vinicius starts once again for Real Madrid, despite the teenager not training yesterday due to illness. Real have become reliant on him in recent weeks.
This is a tough place to visit, as already mentioned, and so Real Madrid will need to be in top form to come away with anything. They haven't been in top form in recent games.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Real Betis against Real Madrid in this La Liga fixture.
Oky, here we go. About to get started in Seville. Kick off is just seconds away.
What an atmosphere it is at the Benito Villamarin. The home fans are belting out the Betis anthem!
Not long until kick off at the Benito Villamarin. The two teams are in the tunnel about to walk out.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match. Do you fancy Real Betis to win this one? Would that spell the end for Solari at Real Madrid? Tweet me!
Betis have been extremely impressive under Setien this season. The Benito Villamarin is one of the most difficult places to visit in La Liga at the best of times. This will be tough for Real.
Pressure! Real Madrid beat Leganes in the Copa del Rey during the week, but the home loss to Real Sociedad last weekend did some real damage to Solari, who is under pressure.
No Isco! This won't stop the speculation that Isco could leave Real Madrid in the not so distant future. Solari has once again left the playmaker out of his team despite a number of injuries.
TEAM NEWS: Real Betis - Pau, Francis, Mandi, Bartra, Barragan, William, Guardado, Lo Celso, Joaquin, Canales, Sanabria. /// Real Madrid - Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Nacho, Reguilon, Casemiro, Valverde, Modric, Vinicius, Benzema.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Real Betis and Real Madrid. We'll bring you all the action as it happens. Kick off is at 7.45pm.