Ceballos rescues Real Madrid with late winner against Betis
La Liga, Estadio Benito Villamarin – Real Betis 1 (Canales 67) Real Madrid 3 (Modric 13, Ceballos 88)
Dani Ceballos scored a late freekick winner against his former club Real Betis to rescue a 2-1 win for Real Madrid.
Pressure has mounted on Santiago Solari in recent weeks and Los Blancos looked way off the pace once again at the Benito Villamarin. But they somehow found a way to get the win that returns them to winning ways.
Luka Modric gave the visitors the lead after 13 minutes, lashing home a wicked left-footed strike from the edge of the box. Real Madrid could have extended their advantage, but failed to make the most of their dominance in the first half.
However, Real Betis emerged for the second half with renewed vigour and equalised through Sergio Canales, who squeezed a finish through Keylor Navas. The goal was initially chalked off for offside, but the decision was reversed after a VAR review.
The hosts pressed for a second goal and a win that they may have deserved, but it was Real Madrid who struck late on when Ceballos guided a freekick from the edge of the box past Pau Lopez and into the back of the net.
TALKING POINT - What if Karim Benzema’s injury is a serious one?
Real Madrid’s injury table has no more space on it. Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Toni Kroos, Mariano Diaz, Marcos Llorente and Thibaut Courtois are all sidelined at the moment, with Karim Benzema joining them with a dislocated finger, taken off at half time. Without Benzema, Solari doesn’t have another striker in his ranks. What if his injury is a serious one? It could Real Madrid in real trouble.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Only a few weeks ago, Vinicius was playing for Real Madrid’s Castilla team in the lower leagues. Now, he is arguably their most important player. It seems ridiculous that Real Madrid, the European champions, would be so reliant on an unproven teenager, especially one who is so raw, but that’s where they are. And with good reason, because Vinicius was their best player in this game. He gives Real Madrid something different, something they need.
13’ GOAL! Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid: 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!
36’ 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.
45’ Benzema off! This is a big blow for Real Madrid, who already have a number of injuries to contend with. Benzema has been taken off with a dislocated finger suffered at the end of the first half. Cristo replaces him.
60’ 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 volley, got his body over it, but the ball flashes just wide of the post. What a goal that would have been.
67’ 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.
68’ GOAL! Real Betis 1-1 Real Madrid: 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!
88’ GOAL! Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid: 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!
13 out of 15 goals Luka Modric has scored for Real Madrid (in all competitions) have been from outside the penalty box.
Modric has also scored in each of the last seven La Liga seasons.