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Betis BET
Sidnei 39',Tello 81'
Real Madrid RMA
Benzema 47' (p)

Betis dent Madrid's title challenge in the Villamarín

Real Betis' Brazilian defender Sidnei (up) celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between Real Betis and Real Madrid CF at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville on March 8, 2020.

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And that's a solid win for Betis, who climb to 12th. 


Another blow to Madrid's title challenge as reigning champions Barça consolidate their lead at the top. 


And that's it! Betis have beaten Madrid at the Villamarín for the first time since 2012! 


This time Benzema goes it alone and fires a decent effort just wide. 


Benzema gifts Vinicius a presentable chance, which the Brazilian curls wide. 


Sidnei again with a vital clearance. He's been colossal this evening. 


Casemiro with a Hail Mary to Vinicius, who tries and fails to convince the ref that his poor control was caused by a Sidnei foul. The ref is not fooled. 


Over the bar from Miitão as he meets the delivery. Five minutes added, mainly for that knock Moreno got earlier. 


Kitchen sink time from Madrid... Vázquez wins a corner. Only their second of the game. 


Vázquez! The winger gets up at the far post to meet Benzema's cross but glances wide. Ramos was coming in behind him and a rueful glance at his teammate suggests the captain is not happy to have had that one nicked off his bonce. 


There's a pile up in the Betis area as Ramos and Valverde go for the same ball and Casemiro tries to block Joel. The Betis keeper emerges with the ball firmly in his gloves though. 


At the other end, Madrid appeal for a penalty but the ref their protests away! 


Madrid in disarray again! Varane this time gifts possession and Ramos manages to mop up with Loren bearing down on goal! 

Well, well. That's got the cat among the pigeons. Can Real find a response? 


That came out of nowhere, and nothing! Benzema hits a sloppy ball across his own midfield and Tello jumps on it, races towards goal and holds his nerve to guide a shot past Courtois! 

Gooooooooooooool! Tello! 


Tello manages to send a low cross in and it's begging to be hit by Loren but Ramos gets a boot on it and snuffs out the danger. 


Another change for Madrid as Fede Valverde comes on. Luka Modric makes way after a decent if understated performance spent mostly covering for all the errors of his teammates. 


Álex Moreno heads off after a good game and a decent battle with Lucas Váquez, Alfonso Pedraza on to replace him.


Vinicius, bottled. The Brazilian nutmegs one defender, goes around another, and then blasts a cross into the midriff of a disbelieving Benzema. It hits the Frenchman and bobs out for a goal kick. 


And that's exactly what they do! A lightning break up the other end sees Canales tee up Guardado, who flashes a ferocious shot just wide. 


Betis are being pinned back in their own half now and they could do with someone, maybe Canales, to try and relieve some of this pressure. 


Guardado goes into the book for hauling Vinicius down on the run. 


Edgar González off after a decent shift, Guido Rodríguez on in his place. 


Madrid suddenly seem to have realised that a draw here really won't do them much good after Barça snuck past Sociedad on Saturday. There's a bit more urgency about Zidane's side now, while Betis have gone off the boil a bit. 


Holy shmoly! He's involved immediately, teeing up Modric for a shot that is blocked. The ball falls to Mendy, who leathers one onto the bar. Benzema then gets a bite at the rebound but Betis clear. 


The striker was last seen popping a second goal past Barça in last weekend's Clásico on his first Liga outing of the season. It lasted one minute. But it was a minute well spent. 


Oooooh, if this was bird-watching there'd be twitching aplenty... Mariano has appeared on the pitch! 


Militão pulled up for a challenge that can only be described as clumsy. Betis manage to waste another set piece though.  


And Joaquín heads off, to a huge ovation, as Cristian Tello enters the fray. 


Bartra sticks out a boot to deny Vinicius a shot. Good defending from the former Barcelona man. 

Still 1-1 at the hour mark, although it really should be 2-1 to the home side. Joaquín will be having nightmares about that miss for weeks if Betis don't get a result this evening. Madrid are hardly doing much to try and win the game themselves. 


Moreno is back on the pitch. 


Marcelo is hooked by Zidane during the stoppage, Ferland Mendy comes on in his place. 


Vázquez puts in a nasty challenge on Moreno, who hits the deck like a ton of bricks. He stays there as well. Vázquez apologises and it didn't look intentional but the Betis full back landed very awkwardly. 


Marcelo in the book. Not sure what for, a bit of lip in the direction of the ref we think. 


Joaquín! What a miss! The Betis winger is put clean through, beats Courtois and only has to find the back of the net but he seems to try and square for a teammate instead! What a let off for the visitors! 


It's beautifully worked between Canales and Joaquín, taking Vinicius completely out of the picture, and deserved a better cross from the former. 


Another corner, as Fekir's shot hits Ramos and pings out. 


Another corner for the home side. Let's see what they can conjure here. 


There is some truly awful football being played in the Villamarín. In one passage there both sides lost possession two or three times. 


Ramos is apparently a Canales magnet as the former Real midfielder's cross finds the feet of the current Madrid captain. 


Canales had plenty of options on there as he drove forward. He decided the best one was to boot it into Sergio Ramos' back. 


Benzema was hanging on the shoulder of a last defender but didn't time his run well and the flag is hoisted aloft on the good ship Benz Offside. 


No changes from either side at half time. 


Betis come out of the blocks with purpose and Moreno wins a throw as Militão blocks his attempted cross. 

We're back underway! 


And thats the half! 1-1 after the opening 45. The game has really come alive in the last 15 minutes. Let's hope for more of the same after the break. 


Gooooooooooooool! Benzema buries it hard and low to Joel's left and Madrid equalise with the last kick of the half! 


Benzema to take... 


Penalty! Madrid! Sidnei takes out Marcelo and the ref points to the spot!


Two minutes added. Betis will be happy to eat these up as cautiously as possible. 


But to Zidane's doubtless relief he's back up again. 


Varane is down in a heap after colliding with Bartra. Madrid have no back-up in central defence this evening. 


Betis have been the more adventurous side in the last 10 minutes and deserve their lead. Madrid have barely got out of second year. Maybe it won't be their day, their month, or even their year. 


There's a right old palarver in the Madrid area as Betis appeal for a penalty, Madrid fail to clear and it's almost Laurel and Hardy with legs everywhere and peple falling over each other. Sidnei sees his chance though and lashes the loose ball into the roof of the net. What a strike! 


Goooooooooooool! Sidnei! 


A lovely interchange between Emerson and Joaquín sees the Betis captain given a sniff of goal and his deflected shot gives his side a corner. 


Marcelo finds Ramos in the area but the Madrid captain plants his header well over. He had to check his run to meet the delivery and couldn't get his usual purchase on the attempt. 


Casemiro picked up for a handball, although he rather fell onto it. 


Courtois! What a save from the Belgian! Canales tees up Fekir and he absolutely leathers a shot on goal, which the Real stopper does well to keep out. 


Bartra plays a pass off his shoulder to Moreno. It is little exaggeration to say that's been one of the highlights of the half. 


Judging by Zidane's reaction to that he'll be strapping on his own boots at half time. There is not a jot of creative invention in his midfield at the moment, which is probably why Varane decided not to bother with them. 


Madrid are all over the shop this evening. Varane, and we're guessing here, tries to find Benzema but belts the ball clean out for a goal kick. 

Still 0-0. Still no shots on target. Still all to play for in the Villamarín! 

Rubi is not impressed on the touchline. 


Close! Another routine and this time it almost comes off! Betis ping one in and Madrid fail to deal with it. It comes to Bartra about two yards out and he inexplicably clears the bar with his header! Betis won't get too many gifts like that. 


Just a free as far as we can tell... Betis about 30 yards out on the left. 


We'll see if the ref agrees when the performance is over... 


Casemiro fouls Fekir and attempts to avoid a card by feigning a smack in the face! You have to hand it to the lad sometimes... 


Crikey. We assume that was a training ground job but it really didn't come off as Loren tries to find Joaquín on the edge of the area and the ball ends up back at the feet of Joel in the Betis sticks. 


Casemiro concedes a cheeky Casemiro trademark foul in midfield. Betis win a corner as Lucas Vázquez pops up to lend a hand at the back. First of the game-. 


Neither side has managed to muster a shot on target yet. Karim Benzema has barely had a touch. 


He seems to be ok to continue though after a once-over from the custodians of the magic sponge. He casts a withering glance in Loren's direction and grimly gets to his feet. 


Trouble for Betis as Guardado goes down after getting the full studs in the chest treatment from his teammate Loren. 


Casemiro lifts one into the area but the inent arrive in the Betis back four's inbox long before the actual delivery did. 


Neither side have yet taken control of the game. There have been a fair few misplaced passes and a lot of stroking it about probing for weaknesses. 


Canales teases Fekir in but the Frenchman's shot is blocked by his compatriot Varane. 


That was Madrid's first shot. Betis looking to get their foot on the ball now. 


He does now! But the Brazilian drags his shot just wide of Joel's near post. 


Madrid work the ball to Vincius in the area but Sidnei makes sure he doesn't get a chance to shoot. 


Another telegraphed Madrid move comes to nothing as Vázquez pings a cross over the heads of everybody. There's little to have the home fans unduly worried at this stage. 


Madrid have been a little ponderous in their build-up play so far and Lucas Vázquez is caught offside. 


Marcelo arrives unmarked beyond the far post and takes a swing at Lucas Vázquez's little dink over the top but can only smile ruefully as he shanks his effort horribly wide. It was a tricky one to be fair. 


Courtois almost gets into a pickle under pressure but finally manages to get the ball to a blue shirt. He really is not the most comfortable playing it out. 


Ufffff! Benzema goes down in the area under the close attention of Sidnei but the ref waves his speculative eyebrow-raise away. There was nowt in it really. 


Joaquín draws a huge cheer from the stands as he anticipates a ball to Kroos and prevents the German from taking a swing from distance. 


Casemiro cuts out an Álex Moreno cross rather clumsily, but he gets the job done and Betis' first foray comes to nothing. 


Vinicius with some nifty footwork on the left but he eventually runs it out after finding his path blocked. 


Joaquín has started on the right, where he'll look to exploit the space behind Marcelo. 


We're off! Betis in the traditional green and white, Madrid in their dark blue away strips. 

Joaquín and Ramos meet in the middle. All smiles from the local lads.  

The Betis anthem belts out across a packed Villamarín and the home fans are in full throat to greet their side as the players come out! 

Here's Betis' current league position. Not ideal from a local point of view and the home side will be hoping to cause a mini-upset this evening. 


Ok, just under 10 minutes to go until we get underway in the Villamarín! Strap ye in... 

Éder Militão: From record buy to forgotten man at Real Madrid


Éder Militão: From record buy to forgotten man at Real Madrid

Éder Militão has also not imposed himself as he would have liked after becomg the most expensive defender in Madrid's history but he'll have a chance this evening to impress Zidane. 

Madrid have lost just twice in the league this season, both times away from home and both times by a 1-0 scoreline (at Mallorca and Levante). Zidane's side have also been held to four draws on the road. 

The Gareth Bale mystery


The Gareth Bale mystery

Meanwhile, the enigma that is Gareth Bale remains on the bench. 


There is no place for Luka Jovic in this evening's Madrid squad, with Zidane apparently having given up on the Serbia striker. It hasn't worled out for the 22-year-old at the Bernabéu and Napoli are apparently keen to take advantage. 

Madrid have suffered a mini-wobble over the past few weeks, and let Barça back into the chase as a result, with a draw at home against Celta and a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Levante at the Bernabéu. Winning the Clásico was key but it remains to be seen if Zidane's side carry that momentum into tonight's game. Only five sides have scored more in the league than Betis this season

Betis haven't won a game since sticking three past Real Sociedad in January but they are good for a few goals. Rubi's side lost a thriller at Camp Nou 3-2 and played out a 3-3 draw with Mallorca at home in February. 

And Madrid's: Areola, Bale, Valverde, James, Mendy, Mariano, Rodrygo.

Betis' bench: Dani Martín, Mandi, Pedraza, Guido Rodríguez, Aleñá, Tello, Borja Iglesias. 

And here's Zidane's XI: Vinicius gets the nod up top alongside Benzema and as expected Militão starts at right back. We wonder if Rubi might consider switching Joaquín to that side to test the Brazilian's mettle. 

Here's Betis' starting XI. Loren, Fekir, Canales and Joaquín should keep the Madrid back line busy. 


Bale or Vinicius, Vinicius or Bale... that is the question. And one that Zidane addressed in his pre-match presser. 

There should be a few goals this evening... a random sample of results from the last few encounters between the sides: 5-3 to Madrid, 6-1 to Madrid, 2-0 to Betis (last season's win at the Bernabéu). 

Betis have taken four points from Madrid on their last two visits to the Bernabéu but traditionally don't fare too well at home. The last time Beticos celebrated a win in the Villamarín against today's opposition was in 2012. 

Rubi has more or less a full complement to choose from, although Diego Lainez, William Carvalho and Juanmi miss out with injury. 

Rubi has more or less a full complement to choose from, although Diego Lainez, William Carvalho and Juanmi miss out with injury. 

Zidane has an issue at right back for the game at Betis, with both Dani Carvajal and Nacho missing out through illness. Eder Militão is likely to fill in on the right but the Real boss has little in reserve if any of his defenders limp out of this one. 

Here's how the table currently stands ahead of this evening's game. 


Zinedine Zidane's side will bo looking to regain the leadership of the Liga table from Barcelona in Seville, following the Azulgrana's 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday. 

As ever, we've thrown together a handy guide as to how and where you can follow the action. 

Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the Liga match between Real Betis and Real Madrid from the Benito Villamarín. Kick-off is at 21:00 CET.