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Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid: A taste of what’s to come for Los Blancos as youngsters handed golden chance

Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid: A taste of what’s to come for Los Blancos as youngsters handed golden chance

Real Madrid leapfrogged Deportivo Alavés to move into fourth place after securing three points on Sunday evening in Seville at the Benito Villamarín.

Santiago Solari’s team selection was a nod to the future of Los Blancos, with Sergio Reguilón, Federico Valverde, Cristo, Vinícius Júnior, and Brahim Díaz all featuring.

Keylor Navas made only his third La Liga appearance of the season, his first since August following Thibaut Courtois’ groin strain.

Coming into this one Betis reduced their defensive numbers from five to four, with Madrid doing the opposite in an attempt to be more solid.

Despite the system change, Luka Modric’s early goal knocked the stuffing out of the home side.

The goal spurred Madrid into life and a series of fast paced counter attacks followed.

Possibly the best example of Los Blancos’ threat on the break came after 34-minutes when Federico Valverde got in-behind for what looked like a certain goal, before the Uruguayan attempted to back heel the ball.

Despite being behind, Betis struggled to create any clear chances as the Madrid back line offered few opportunities or space as they sat relatively deep.

Cristo was introduced just before halftime when Karim Benzema was forced off through injury.

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But it was the second half was when the game truly kicked into life with non-stop action at both ends of the pitch.

Andrés Guardado came close to equalising just before the hour mark when his sweetly struck left-foot volley fizzed past Navas’ post.

A dis-jointed Los Verdiblancos eventually equalised after 67-minutes when midfield maestro Giovani Lo Celso put Sergio Canales through on goal.

The 27-year-old’s poke past Navas was initially ruled out for offside but after a quick VAR review, Los Verdiblancos were level.

Díaz who started the game on the bench following his move from Manchester City, was given his chance with eight minutes remaining.

Solari virtually confirmed Isco’s departure after sending the Spaniard a blatant message, choosing to introduce Cristo, Dani Ceballos and Díaz ahead of him.

With the game coming to an end, William Carvalho brought down Casemiro on the edge of the box, and will now miss their next game.

The former Betis man Ceballos made no mistake as he struck the ball around the wall and past an unsighted Pau Lopez.

The 22-year old refused to celebrate despite the bad reception he received.

Betis fans will have to wait a little longer to see new signing Diego Lainez who is yet to feature for Los Verdiblancos following his €14 Million move from Club America.

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As a result, Quique Setién’s side failed to regain sixth place and will remain in seventh following Getafe’s victory over Villarreal a day earlier.

Next up in La Liga for Los Verdiblancos is another home tie against Girona, whilst Los Blancos host Sevilla.

Real Betis: (4-3-3) Lopez; Barragán, Mandu, Bartra, Francis (Tello, 67) Lo Celso, Carvalho, Guardado (Boudebouz, 85) Canales, Sanabria (Loren, 88) Joaquín. Unused subs: Robles, Feddal, León, García.

Real Madrid: (3-4-2-1) Navas; Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Carvajal, Casemiro, Valverde (Díaz, 82) Reguilón (Ceballos, 74) Modric, Júnior; Benzema (Cristo, 46). Unused Subs: Casilla, Marcelo, Odriozola, Isco.

Goal: Luka Modric (1-0, 13) Sergio Canales (1-1, 67) Dani Ceballos (1-2, 88)

Cards: (Yellows: Luka Modric, Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos, Andrés Guardado, William Carvalho)

Stadium: Estadio Benito Villamarin (54,187 attendance).