Real Madrid 2-1 Real Betis: Los Blancos' Brazilian duo strike to maintain perfect start

By Sports Desk September 03, 2022

Real Madrid maintained their 100 per cent record in LaLiga as they marked their return to the Santiago Bernabeu with a 2-1 win over Real Betis.

Madrid's opening three league games had come on the road, but the reigning champions transferred that form to home turf on Saturday.

Victory did not come easy, with Madrid unusually profligate in front of goal, while Thibaut Courtois' error allowed Betis to cancel out Vinicius Junior's opener through Canales.

Rodrygo made the decisive breakthrough midway through the second half, however, condemning Betis to a first defeat of their LaLiga campaign.

Madrid needed just nine minutes to score their first home league goal against Betis since March 2017 when David Alaba picked out the run of Vinicius who, having beat the offside trap, lofted a fine finish over Rui Silva.

The celebratory mood was stifled eight minutes later, however. Borja Iglesias brilliantly held off his marker and laid it off for Canales, whose low finish found a way under Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid's response was immediate, with Rodrygo finding Vinicius, but from close range the winger blazed his attempt over, while Silva pulled off a fine save to deny Aurelien Tchouameni.

Los Blancos' dominance continued into the second half – Karim Benzema spared by the offside flag for a dismal miss a yard out – and Silva tipping a stinging Luka Modric strike onto the post.

Yet Madrid's winner came in the 65th minute. Ancelotti turned to Federico Valverde for inspiration from the bench and, with his second touch, the Uruguay international provided just that, cutting back to Rodrygo, who benefitted from weak goalkeeping from Silva.

Rodrygo was agonisingly close to a second when his cute volley clipped the crossbar, though Madrid's failure to add a third did not ultimately prove costly.

 

Related items

  • LA Galaxy v New York City FC: Vanney lauds resilience LA Galaxy v New York City FC: Vanney lauds resilience

    Greg Vanney continues to battle without standout LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig as his side prepare to host New York City FC on Wednesday in MLS.

    The Los Angeles outfit are unbeaten throughout this season at their home Dignity Health Sports Park after overcoming Sporting Kansas City 4-2 on Saturday.

    Vanney's men are yet to lose through eight games on their own turf, sitting third in the Western Conference and just three points behind leaders Real Salt Lake.

    Yet the Galaxy remain without star man Puig, formerly of Barcelona, as Vanney continues to work around the Spaniard's absence.

    "I think for me, we are positionally a little bit more stable," Vanney said, before lauding Puig.

    "Our two pivots stayed in our pivots. [Against SKC] we were able to – we were more predictable even for each other in terms of our spots.

    "When Riqui is on the field, he starts high, comes low, he defends high, he drops low. That sets a series of moments into play that are hard to defend, and Riqui has special qualities to be able to change the tempo of the game like nobody else in our league.

    "If Riqui is here, if we can do both, stay inside the systems and use his qualities in the best way possible, and we have even another level [to go to]."

    New York are fourth in the Eastern Conference after a 3-2 home defeat to Columbus Crew last time out – the visitors recording four straight wins on the road on Friday.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    LA Galaxy – Dejan Joveljic

    Dejan Joveljic recorded his team-leading 10th goal of the season and an assist in the win over Kansas City.

    Joveljic ranks tied for sixth in MLS for goals scored during the 2024 campaign and will be keen to add to that tally here.

    New York City FC – Santiago Rodriguez

    Santiago Rodriguez remains the leading light of the New York attack, netting his seventh goal of the campaign in the defeat to Columbus.

    The Pigeons attacker has more MLS strikes than any team-mate this term, though Cushing will be desperate his goals can help New York to victory this time around.

    MATCH PREDICTION – LA GALAXY WIN

    The Galaxy are unbeaten in their first eight home matches of the season (W5 D3) for the first time since 2016 (15 straight) including winning the last three in a row at home. They have lost only one of their last 18 regular-season home matches dating back to last June (W9 D8).

    NYCFC have won four of their six all-time meetings with the Galaxy, though LA won the last meeting, 1-0, in February 2022. This will be the seventh meeting between the sides and the fifth in Carson.

    NYCFC have won their last three road matches after winning just one of their previous 23 on the road in all competitions dating back to the start of the 2023 season (D9 L13). This run equals their longest-ever road winning streak, having also won three in a row away from home in April-May 2019.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    LA Galaxy – 41.7%

    New York City FC – 31.7%

    Draw – 26.7%

  • Vertonghen confident Belgium can regain clinical edge Vertonghen confident Belgium can regain clinical edge

    Jan Vertonghen believes Belgium will be able to handle the pressure and bounce back from their first Euro 2024 defeat.

    Slovakia earned a surprise win over the Red Devils thanks to Ivan Schranz's early goal, and a wasteful Belgium were unable to salvage a point.

    Lukaku thought he had twice equalised, though both strikes were ruled out, the first for offside and the second by VAR for a handball in the build-up.

    Despite an early setback in the tournament, Vertonghen is confident his side will be able to quickly put it behind them when they face Romania next time out.

    "Obviously, the team is very disappointed after yesterday's result," Vertonghen said.

    "You always want the first game at a tournament to take the pressure away a bit, but now the pressure is probably even more and that's why we're disappointed. We're not disappointed in the way we played, or the chances we created or the way we defended.

    "[To change our style] would be a mistake in my opinion. Obviously, the easy answer is to score goals and avoid conceding any. But yeah, the mindset is key, to attack and then to win and to keep doing what we've been doing for the previous 15 matches.

    "I would be more worried if we didn't have the quality, so I'm confident we will score on Saturday."

    Belgium missed four Opta-defined big chances in this match, the first time they’d done so in a European Championship game since 1980 against Spain, with three of those falling to Lukaku.

    The striker created an xG of 0.82 from his three shots over 90 minutes, cutting a frustrated figure on the pitch.

    It is also the first time that Belgium have lost since 27 November 2022 against Morocco in the World Cup, ending a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W10 D5).

  • LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Vanney lauds resilience LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Vanney lauds resilience

    Greg Vanney continues to battle without standout LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig as his side prepare to host New York City FC on Wednesday in MLS.

    The Los Angeles outfit are unbeaten throughout this season at their home Dignity Health Sports Park after overcoming Sporting Kansas City 4-2 on Saturday.

    Vanney's men are yet to lose through eight games on their own turf, sitting third in the Western Conference and just three points behind leaders Real Salt Lake.

    Yet the Galaxy remain without star man Puig, formerly of Barcelona, as Vanney continues to work around the Spaniard's absence.

    "I think for me, we are positionally a little bit more stable," Vanney said, before lauding Puig.

    "Our two pivots stayed in our pivots. [Against SKC] we were able to – we were more predictable even for each other in terms of our spots.

    "When Riqui is on the field, he starts high, comes low, he defends high, he drops low. That sets a series of moments into play that are hard to defend, and Riqui has special qualities to be able to change the tempo of the game like nobody else in our league.

    "If Riqui is here, if we can do both, stay inside the systems and use his qualities in the best way possible, and we have even another level [to go to]."

    New York are fourth in the Eastern Conference after a 3-2 home defeat to Columbus Crew last time out – the visitors recording four straight wins on the road on Friday.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    LA Galaxy – Dejan Joveljic

    Dejan Joveljic recorded his team-leading 10th goal of the season and an assist in the win over Kansas City.

    Joveljic ranks tied for sixth in MLS for goals scored during the 2024 campaign and will be keen to add to that tally here.

    New York City FC – Santiago Rodriguez

    Santiago Rodriguez remains the leading light of the New York attack, netting his seventh goal of the campaign in the defeat to Columbus.

    The Pigeons attacker has more MLS strikes than any team-mate this term, though Cushing will be desperate his goals can help New York to victory this time around.

    MATCH PREDICTION – LA GALAXY WIN

    The Galaxy are unbeaten in their first eight home matches of the season (W5 D3) for the first time since 2016 (15 straight) including winning the last three in a row at home. They have lost only one of their last 18 regular-season home matches dating back to last June (W9 D8).

    NYCFC have won four of their six all-time meetings with the Galaxy, though LA won the last meeting, 1-0, in February 2022. This will be the seventh meeting between the sides and the fifth in Carson.

    NYCFC have won their last three road matches after winning just one of their previous 23 on the road in all competitions dating back to the start of the 2023 season (D9 L13). This run equals their longest-ever road winning streak, having also won three in a row away from home in April-May 2019.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    LA Galaxy – 41.7%

    New York City FC – 31.7%

    Draw – 26.7%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.