Battling back from an early deficit, Real Madrid silenced Betis in the closing minutes with a 2-1 victory on Sunday at the Bernabeu to begin the new La Liga campaign.
Making his presence felt immediately since transferring from Malaga this summer, Isco willed Los Blancos back from a 1-0 hole with a goal and an assist. The 21-year-old Spaniard almost singlehandedly won the match for Madrid in the 86th minute. First he earned a free kick in the attacking half, then powered in a header off a cross from Marcelo for the winning strike
Until Isco’s breakthrough, neither side could find their range in the second half. By the end Madrid had compiled 20 shots, with nine on target, and Betis had 11 total tries with four on net.
Pepe Mel’s side stayed aggressive throughout the match, trying to outmuscle the more finesse-minded Madrid. Beticos committed 20 fouls, while Mati and Javi were both booked, with the defender’s misstep coming out of frustration in the 90th minute.
To start the match Beticos used quick strikes to challenge Carlos Ancelotti’s club, and one push in particular hushed the Bernabeu crowd.
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A scintillating run by Cedric cut through the heart of Madrid’s midfield and backline, which led to a touch pass to striker Jorge Molina for the match’s first goal in the 14th minute and a 1-0 Betis advantage.
Karim Benzema provided Los Blancos the equalizer by carefully timing his run, and accepting Isco’s through ball in the 26th minute.
Isco’s header ruined an otherwise stupendous performance from new Betis keeper Stephan Andersen. The Dane recorded seven saves in his La Liga debut.