Jude Bellingham scored again, but it wasn’t enough to claim the three points as defender Aitor Rubial scored a rocket as the two teams shared the points at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.
Real Madrid came into the game on the back of a five-game winning streak, while Real Betis had yet to lose at home so far this season, with the game promising to be tight. The talk leading up to the game centred around Isco’s return to play against his former club, where he spent nine years, but he was unable to convert his late chance to hand his team the win.
Luka Modric returned to the starting eleven for the first time since his muscular injury as he replaced Joselu, leaving Real Madrid without an out-and-out striker for the match.
The game was open from the off, with both teams attacking but the goalkeepers weren’t overly troubled in the first half. Real Madrid had a penalty shout after a Marca Roca challenge on Rodrygo, but nothing was given. The away side then had the ball in the back of the net after Brahim Díaz tapped in from a rebounded pass, but the goal was chalked off for offside. It was the home side that created the better first-half chances after this point. Andriy Lunin, preferred to Kepa Arrizabalaga, was forced into a save to deny Ayoze Pérez after Antonio Rüdiger blocked a shot from William José moments earlier.
After the break, it was Betis who started strong, and Lunin was again called into action to deny Isco. However, Bellingham, inevitable as he is, put the away side one nil up against the run of play as he calmly slotted past Rui Silva to score his 12th league goal of the season after an impressive Brahim Díaz assist. Real Madrid began to control the game, with Betis looking deflated. It would need something special for Betis to draw themselves level, and that is exactly what they got as full-back Aitor Ruibal scored a rocket in the 66th minute to level the scores. Betis were buoyed, while Real Madrid struggled to create anything. Carlo Ancelotti made substitutions as he tried to regain control over the game, but to no avail. David Alaba made a last-ditch block to deny Assane Diao, but the best chance came in the final five minutes. Isoc was millimetres away from haunting his old club as his header struck the post.
Real Madrid earned a point in their chase for the league title, but they could be leapfrogged by Girona if they beat Barcelona tomorrow. Real Betis continue their unbeaten home run as they remain in seventh.
GSFN | Finn Entwistle