Real Madrid miss chance to go top as Real Betis earn point in Madrid
La Liga, Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano - Real Madrid 0, Real Betis 0
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema gestures during the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid, on April 24, 2021.
Rodrygo struck the crossbar with a mishit cross before Vinicius Junior was introduced with half an hour left to play. It was Betis, however, that cranked up the pressure with Guido Rodriguez and Borja Iglesias both passing up good chances.
Hazard made his return from injury with just over 10 minutes remaining, but there was to be no breakthrough as Real Madrid were held at home, leaving them two points off Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga.
TALKING POINT - Should Zinedine Zidane have introduced Eden Hazard sooner?
Hazard made his return to the Real Madrid matchday squad here and made a positive impact after coming off the bench in the second half. Indeed, the home side played with more energy and intensity with the Belgian on the pitch. So did Zidane make a mistake in not introducing Hazard sooner when his team were searching for a late winner? Hindsight suggests the former Chelsea man should have been given more time to make his mark on a match that required someone to take a grip.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Claudio Bravo (Real Betis)
While Real Madrid didn’t create many clearcut opportunities, Claudio Bravo dealt with everything that came his way. More than that, though, the former Manchester City goalkeeper was key to the way Real Betis sought to hit out on the counter attack from the back. Indeed, Bravo released his teammates up the pitch more than once, bypassing the midfield to feed the ball to the likes of Sergio Canales and Diego Lainez. On another night he might have ended up with an assist!