Real Madrid drop points against Betis

Madrid, Apr 24 (EFE).- Real Madrid missed a chance to go level on points with LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid on Saturday, drawing 0-0 with Real Betis days before the Blancos will host Chelsea in the first leg of a Champions League semifinal.

The defending champions improved to 71 points, 2 less than first-place Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand. And Zinedine Zidane’s men also need to look over their shoulders at archrivals Barcelona, who are on 68 points and have played two fewer matches than the Blancos.

Betis, meanwhile, climbed to sixth, though they lead Villarreal by just a point.

The hosts controlled the ball, but struggled to generate chances and had only one shot on target in the first half, a Karim Benzema strike that forced a save from Betis goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in the 25th minute.

Seconds earlier, defender Aissa Mandi blocked an effort from Rodrygo on an opportunity manufactured by Benzema.

Sergio Canales made the most impact for Betis, getting behind Casemiro before firing into the side netting as the match approached the half-hour mark.

Bravo was called into action again in the 55th minute to tip a blast from Rodrygo over the cross-bar, but the momentum was shifting in favor of Betis and Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois wobbled a little in the 61st minute dealing with a shot by Guido Rodriguez.

Borja Iglesias should have scored for the visitors in the 65th minute, two minutes before Luka Modric was denied by Bravo.

Desperate for a goal, Zidane turned to Eden Hazard, just back in the squad after missing more than month to the latest in a series of injuries that have plagued the Belgian international since he joined Real Madrid from Chelsea.

Hazard lifted the level of the Blancos’ attack, but the vital goal never materialized and the teams shared the points. EFE


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