Real Betis vs. Real Madrid: Final score 1-0, Beñat sinks Los Blancos, possibly ends title race

Denis Doyle

A brilliant strike by Beñat, some quality saves and some poor officiating led to a massive 1-0 upset victory for Real Betis over Real Madrid.

The La Liga title race might already be over, and there's still another week left in November. Real Madrid threw everything they had at Real Betis on Saturday evening, but couldn't come up with anything that matched the quality of Beñat's stunning 17th minute goal. Betis goalkeeper Adrian had a couple of shaky moments, but was brilliant late in the second half, and made a few crucial saves to preserve the hosts' 1-0 win.

Angel di Maria inadvertently set up the eventual winner, kicking an aimless clearance from the left flank towards the center of the pitch, right to Beñat. He controlled brilliantly, surging past Sami Khedira, then unleashed a low drive from 20 yards before Sergio Ramos had a chance to close him down. His shot was perfectly placed to the far post, and Iker Casillas has no chance to make a save.

Adrian had a couple of instances where he came off his line too early and gifted Madrid an open net, but his defenders provided enough of an obstacle to prevent Madrid from scoring an easy goal on both occasions where he was too hasty to rush out.

In the 55th minute, Karim Benzema looked to finish past Adrian to bring Madrid back into the game, but was flagged for offside. Unfortunately for the linesman, Benzema was level with the last defender when Luka Modric played him in, and the goal should have stood.

Los Merengues amped up their efforts to find an equalizer in the closing minutes, but never came terribly close. Their best chance came in the 82nd minute, when Adrian tipped a free kick by Cristiano Ronaldo over the crossbar. Madrid looked to have a legitimate penalty shout in stoppage time on what appeared to be a handball in the box by Jorge Molina, but the referee didn't see it, and Betis held on for victory.

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