Real Madrid vs Real Betis – Football Match Report – 20 May 2022
Real Madrid ended their triumphant La Liga season and prepared for next week’s Champions League final against Liverpool with a goalless draw with Real Betis visiting the Bernabeu on Friday.
With Madrid already confirmed as champions and fifth-placed Betis knowing they will miss out on a Champions League place, there wasn’t much to play for either team. And the relaxed party atmosphere was evident, with Madrid receiving a guard of honor and returning the favor to Copa del Rey winners Betis before kick-off.
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“We played the game we wanted to play, don’t take any risks, play at a good pace… I didn’t want to take any risks,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar afterwards. “Now we can rest for two days and prepare for the game. The pace was quite slow, we didn’t push too much, we tried to control the ball, I can’t ask for more.”
And, while Carlo Ancelotti started with a formation close to that which he is likely to field in Paris on May 28, the chances were few.
Looking to get rid of Raul in second place on Madrid’s all-time goalscoring list, Karim Benzema couldn’t take advantage of Madrid’s two best chances, in the first 10 and last 10 minutes. Betis missed their best chance in the dying moments when veteran substitute Joaquin fired from close range in his 600th La Liga appearance.
The only notable absence from the Madrid outfit was David Alaba, although Ancelotti said afterwards that the defender would be ‘100 per cent’ ready for the Champions League final.
There was also a substitute appearance for Isco in his last outing at the Bernabeu before he left the club in the summer. Another departing player, Gareth Bale, has not featured but Ancelotti has suggested he could still make one last appearance for the club in Paris.
As for who will start against Liverpool, Ancelotti has made it clear that his decision has already been made.
“I know who will play from the start and then we’ll see what happens during the game,” he said. “We won’t start with 11 and finish with the same 11, there will be changes during the game.
“The plan is quite clear, we know the opponent well, Liverpool are a great team with different characteristics, we have to play a game to show the strengths we have.”
Real Madrid end the LaLiga season with 86 points from 38 games, currently 13 points ahead of Barcelona going into the final game of their rivals’ campaign.
Betis remain fifth in the table with 65 points, having already qualified for next season’s Europa League by winning the Copa del Rey last month.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are two points behind fourth-placed Sevilla but were already out of contention for a Champions League spot due to an inferior head-to-head record.
Information from Alex Kirkland of ESPN and Reuters was used in this report.