It’s nice to be back from the international break! We traveled to Sevilla to take on Real Betis.
I’m kind of glad the international break fell where it did. I’ve been super busy and it was a perfect break for me.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
Pre-Match Social Media:
Real Betis: Antonio Adan; Cristiano Piccini, Aissa Mandi, German Pezzella, Riza Durmisi; Petros, Jonas Martin, Darko Brasanac; Joaquin, Ruben Castro, Alex Alegria
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Isco, Mateo Kovacic; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale
I missed the first few minutes of the match. I headed to the Elephant & Castle in DC to watch the match with Gabe Lezra from Managing Madrid and the DC Peña. I got stuck in traffic (of course) and didn’t make it until just after the 4th minute.
Incidentally, the 4th minute was when Baby Varane put a #ToniLive freekick into the net with an excellent header! And he seemed so genuinely happy to score it. You know I love me some Varane!
In the 6th minute, Cris missed from very close range. As I told Gabe, I call that “pulling a Wondo” after Wondolowski missed one like that in the ’14 World Cup.
There was an odd moment in the 10th minute when a #ToniLive pass bounced off the ref and out of bounds. The ref made the wrong call originally and it sounded like the entire stadium was going to descend on him. In the end, it was a Real Betis throw and all was (kind of) fine.
I have to say that Adan was very good. He did well to save a number of shots and, as seems to be the usual lately, we seemed to be getting very unlucky. You could tell that we wanted the goals and we should have had a number of them before the 30th minute.
In the 31st minute, Kroos stole the ball in the midfield and fed a fabulous ball to Benzema who slid it home past Adan quite neatly.
I won’t lie, I thought he was going to shoot it straight at Adan. I love me some Big Benz, but he’s been off lately.
Betis came close in the 36th minute but Castro’s shot was just over.
In the 39th minute, Marcelo decided to get in on the action. Benzema had a shot deflected and Marcelo bounced it over the top of Adan and into the net.
In the 43rd minute, Isco was booked for dissent. Which I completely missed. I thought the entire match had passed with no yellow cards at all!
In the 45th minute, we had one of the best counter-attacking goals this squad has ever seen. It was comparative to that one against Ajax a couple years back. The one that started with Ramos and involved Ozil, Kaka, Benzema, and Ronaldo.
This one involved Pepe, Cristiano, Bale, Kroos, and Isco (not necessarily in that order). I don’t have words. It was beautiful and makes me want to tear up.
After 2 minutes of extra time it was Real Betis 0 – 4 Real Madrid.
Betis brought in Cejudo for Brasanac and Zozulya for Alegria to start the half.
In the 49th minute, Pezzella was booked for a late tackle on Isco (again, how did I miss this?!).
Pepe saved our butts in the 51st minute after Navas had to come out to make a save but Pezzella saw the opportunity to head the ball toward the corner.
In the 55th minute, though, Cejudo found his spot. It was a close range shot on some pretty bad defending by our loves.
In the 62nd minute, Isco scored an absolutely stunning curling shot into the top corner. It’s one of my favorite kinds of goals. I am so proud!
In the 66th minute, Vazquez replaced Kovacic (who I haven’t mentioned yet but was absolutely wonderful).
In the 68th minute, Betis used their final substitution to bring in Ceballos for Jonas.
In the 75th minute, Morata replaced Benzema.
In the 78th minute, Zozulya was booked for a late tackle on Vazquez.
We got our final goal in the 79th minute. I think he just finally got frustrated. He dribbled straight through three defenders and fired it past Adan. It was a very Ronaldo goal. We love our Crispy!
In the 80th minute, Asensio came in for Bale, who also had a very good match as far as I’m concerned.
In the 1st minute of added time, Petros picked up a yellow (which again, I missed. WTF?!) for a foul on Asensio.
We also earned a free kick but Crispy’s kick was directly into the wall.
After 3 minutes of added time, we broke our draw streak with a decisive win!
Real Betis 1 – 6 Real Madrid
Zidane: “We showed the intensity we needed to win from the start”
by Alberto Navarro“The match was a benchmark for us. It’s not easy to play like that away from home”, said the coach.
Zinedine Zidane discussed Real Madrid’s goal fest at the Benito Villamarín: “I’m really pleased after the three draws in the league. We needed a match like this and we showed the intensity we needed to win from the start. It’s a difficult ground, we started strongly and it’s very tough for our opponents if we play like that”.
“I’ve got good players, they’re intelligent. They knew we had to start strongly and they did that superbly. Playing like that from the first minute makes it difficult for the opponent. We worked towards trying to do that and now we have to be consistent and continue in the same way. It’s a reference point. It’s not easy to play like that away from home”.
Not slipping to four consecutive draws again
I hope it doesn’t happen again. If we show the same intensity we showed today from the start, it’ll happen less often. The players know that it’ll be tough for anyone to beat us if we play at that pace from the off. We have to keep working in the same vein and it would be ideal not to record four draws again”.
Taking it easy in the second half
I don’t think we lowered our intensity. We missed two or three key passes but that can happen over the course of a game. We played a great match.
He’s part of this squad. He played very well today and I’m happy with his goals and his work rate, because he worked very hard”.
“When Lucas Vázquez came on we played with three in the middle. It is not his ideal position but all of the players are capable of playing in different positions and Lucas can do that with ease. Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t look anxious. He always wants to score and that is normal. The most important is that he was focused and transmitted positive energy towards the others. I am happy that he got a goal”.
Players from every position scoring
“That is not just something from today. It has happened in previous games. We are lucky to have important players in every position and they show that in every game, even with set pieces, which is very important these days”.
The fourth goal
“For those who like football, myself included, it is a great attractive thing to see us do what we need to do so quickly, in transition, and with so few touches. I am going to watch it all back and enjoy it”.
“We’re going in the right direction, it wasn’t easy to win here”, said Varane.
Isco was a key man against Betis, scoring a double, and this is what he had to say following the goal fest: “We went out switched on from the very first minute and that’s what we have to do from now on. It was a very complete first half. The team played very well, looked very good on the counter attack and in keeping possession. I don’t know if it was our best first half under Zidane, but it was one of the most complete”.
“I’ve been struggling a bit for confidence and that comes with playing matches. I’m also lacking a bit of rhythm and I hope I can start getting back into things. Zidane has shown confidence in me from the moment he got here, but when things aren’t working the only thing for it is to work harder and that’s my aim. Keep improving every day and make the most of the time I get on the pitch”.
“They were different goals. The counter attack was very good, the team showed real pace with very clear ideas and then the second was a good strike”.
Varane: “We went into the game strongly”
“We’ve been talking a lot over the last few days about improving certain aspects and we’ve responded well. We went into the game well and that helped us get the win, something which is not easy to do here”.
We want to keep on like this and we’re going in the right direction. We are going with the idea of starting strongly and playing with intensity”.
“I played better offensively and that is good for the team. Now I want to score more goals in order to help the team”.
Knock and praise for Kroos
“I’m ok. I don’t have any issues.it was just a knock. Kroos is an important player. He makes good passes and sets the pace of our game”.
Carvajal: “We were balanced and showed togetherness”
“We came out strong and with intensity, and that put the game in our favour. We were more accurate today than in previous games, before we lacked intensity at the start of games and today we had that. We came out strong in the first half, balanced and together. All of this provided a basis for the win today”.
“I’m really glad he got the brace, he is a key player for us. I am certain that he will get us more”.
The next game against Legia Warszawa
“We will go into the game strong. We know that these two games will have a big impact on our place at the top of our Champions League group”.
Post-Match Social Media:
I’m extremely glad that we got out of this perceived “slump” we were in with draws! It was a good time watching this match with Gabe and the people at the DC Peña were extremely welcoming. I recommend checking them out if you’re ever in DC.
Our next match is Tuesday for Champions League. We face Legia Warsaw at home. In La Liga, we face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday also at the Bernabeu.
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!