La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu - Real Madrid 0 Real Betis 0
Real Madrid missed the chance to leapfrog Barcelona and go top of La Liga as they were held to a goalless draw by Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Barca’s defeat to Levante, coupled with Atletico Madrid’s draw away to Sevilla, earlier in the day opened the door for Zinedine Zidane’s side to take top spot, but it was an opportunity they failed to take on a frustrating night.
Eden Hazard looked to have opened the scoring after eight minutes, performing a trademark dribble and finish, but the goal was called back for an offside earlier in the move. That hinted at a free-flowing Real Madrid performance which never really materialised.
Ferland Mendy should have scored when put clean through on goal, only finding the side-netting with his shot, while Vinicius Junior was denied by Joel Robles in stoppage time. This result sees Real Madrid tie Barcelona on 22 points at the top of La Liga, but they will still reflect on a missed opportunity.
TALKING POINT - This season’s La Liga title race is proving to be the most unpredictable in recent memory
Barcelona’s defeat earlier in the day looked to have opened the door for their rivals to bypass them. However, Atletico Madrid drew at Sevilla, with Real Madrid also failing to claim three points. This means that Granada can reclaim top spot with a win over Real Sociedad tomorrow, while La Real can also go joint-top with a victory. Just three points separate first place from sixth. The twists and turns are coming on a near-hourly basis.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Joel Robles (Real Betis)
Hazard was the best player in all-white on the night, but were it not for the goalkeeping exerts of Robles Real Madrid would have clinched three points. The former Everton shot-stopper made a series of exceptional saves to prevent the hosts from finding the back of the net, keeping his concentration right until the end when two saves in stoppage time were required to secure a point for Real Betis.
8’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Hazard thinks that he has opened the scoring for Real Madrid with an excellent dribble and finish, but it's ruled out for offside after a lengthy VAR review! The Belgian looks gutted!
43’ Ramos is denied! With the exception of the disallowed goal, that's the closest Real Madrid have come! Benzema chested down for Ramos, but Robles made a stunning save from the powerful effort!
64’ That was a sitter for Mendy! The Real Madrid left back should have found the back of the net! Mendy was in behind, he was one-on-one with Robles, but could only find the side-netting with his shot!
81’ Another penalty claim! The home fans inside the Santiago Bernabeu are furious! They believe there was a handball from a Benzema cross, but the officials have decided that it didn't warrant a spot kick. Not sure about that one. There was a case.
91’ How didn't it go in?!! It's just not meant to be for Real Madrid this evening. Mendy played the ball into the middle, Vinicius controlled it at the back post, but Robles smothered the shot! Wow! What a save!
92’ Goalline scramble! It just won't go in the back of the net for Real Madrid! Vinicius and Carvajal both had shots blocked from inside the box. Robles is now down holding his head.
Real Betis became the first team in La Liga history to keep three consecutive clean sheets against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
This was Real Madrid’s first ever 0-0 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu with Zinedine Zidane in charge.