Real Madrid hosted Real Betis and knew that the three points at stake just got more important after Barcelona’s unexpected loss against Deportivo La Coruna, which meant that a win will bring them back to the top of La Liga.

Starting Lineup:

Zinedine Zidane decided to make a couple changes to the starting lineup after the UEFA Champions League match but was still able to field a strong squad. The starting eleven consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Nacho Fernandez, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Alvaro Morata


Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (41′)
Sergio Ramos (81′)

Real Betis –
Keylor Navas [OG] (25′)

Keylor Navas:

The criticism continues and Keylor Navas didn’t do himself any favors after a shocking mistake against Real Betis led to him scoring an own goal, which at the time gave the visitors a 1-0 score. Other than that, a strong case can be made for him deserving a red card after committing a foul outside the box. In general, it was a night to forget for the Costa Rican but he will have some solace in knowing that he made a brilliant save in the dying moments which kept Real Betis from equalizing on the night. Is it time for Los Blancos to give Kiko Casilla a chance? Should the team be looking for a new starting goalkeeper? I guess time will tell…

Luka Modric:

An absolute menace in midfield, Luka Modric started the game with extremely high intensity and didn’t let anything or anyone get the best of him. The Croatian midfielder had a little extra motivation on the night as he was playing his 200th Real Madrid match but he has always been quite consistent and continued to show why Zinedine Zidane counts on him so much.

Cristiano Ronaldo:

With his goal against Real Betis, Cristiano Ronaldo has now equaled Jimmy Greaves as the footballers with the most league goals in Europe’s top 6 league history with 366 goals! The Portuguese has been forced to adapt to a new style of playing given his advancing in years and injury problems but that is never a problem for the best player in the world as he continues to prove to everyone why he’s so good. His header for the equalizing goal was a beautiful thing to watch and he continues to be one of the first names on the starting lineup.


Sergio Ramos:

If you asked any Madridista (well, any football fan) who would save the day for Real Madrid if they desperately needed a goal, chances are the answer would be something along the lines of: “Sergio Ramos during the last few minutes of the match”. Also, they would have been 100% correct. On the 81st minute, a magnificent cross from Toni Kroos found the head of an unmarked Sergio Ramos (I don’t understand how he can be unmarked given his history with clutch goals) who found the back of the net. It’s the same story on a different day as our captain saves us yet again!

Nacho Fernandez:

Some may argue that Nacho Fernandez was Real Madrid’s man-of-the-match and it would be a little difficult to argue against it if Luka Modric wasn’t so brilliant in midfield. The Spanish defender was extremely solid in his position and Real Betis found it difficult to get past him on many occasions. He has been playing more regularly this season and, given his commitment and extreme loyalty to the club, it’s a wonderful thing to see for any fan.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas – 5/10
Daniel Carvajal – 5.5/10
Nacho Fernandez – 8.5/10
Sergio Ramos – 8.5/10
Marcelo – 7.5/10
Toni Kroos – 7.5/10
Luka Modric – 9.5/10
Isco – 7/10
James Rodriguez – 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5/10
Alvaro Morata – 6/10