18 August 2013
Real Madrid played their first official game and earned an important victory against Betis. The Santiago Bernabéu enjoyed the display of a team that demonstrated from their coach’s attacking philosophy from the start of the match, exhibiting the competitive nature that goes with wearing the Real Madrid badge and overturning Jorge Molina‘s opening goal in the fourteenth minute. Benzema, in a move that took place very close to the away side’s penalty area and featured eight of the ten outfield players that were on the pitch, drew his side level halfway through the first half, and Isco scored the winning goal with a thumping header in the final minutes. The Spain international put in an outstanding display on his debut and added the winning goal to the assist for the equaliser. Carvajal also played his first official game, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe played their 200th games. The Whites won in their opening match, remain unbeaten and earned their first three points in La Liga.
Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, who were unbeaten in the seven games they played during pre-season, played their first official game of the season in front of their fans. The Whites did not speculate; they came out in full force and from the start clearly demonstrated the attacking philosophy of their coach. In fact, they scored in the third minute of the match, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Marcelo was the player to cross the ball before the ball hit a defender and ended up in the goal defended by Andersen. In spite of this, Madrid were up against in a few moments later. A great individual move by Cedrick and Jorge Molina, with a light touch with his left foot, put the visiting side ahead.
The match was end-to-end, vibrant, and Real Madrid searched for the equaliser. They scored it halfway through the second half, although beforehand they had two clear opportunities from the boots of Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema, in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth minutes, and another goal ruled out in a move that bore a striking resemblance to the previous one where the ball had ended up in the net. This time it was Cristiano Ronaldo who was offside. The move for the equaliser, which came in the twenty-sixth minute, deserves special mention. Eight of the ten outfield footballers featured in the move around the visiting side’s penalty area to great effect. Isco made the final pass and Benzema finished it off by beating Andersen with his left foot. The French forward scored the Whites’ first official goal and the fans inside the Bernabéu cheered on their players even more. Despite all of this, there was another scare in the thirty-third minute, but Nosa’s header from a corner kick struck the crossbar.
The first half began with a relentless Real Madrid, and the second half saw no change to this mentality. It took the Whites only 30 seconds to take their first shot of the half, which was a clear opportunity and could have put the scoreboard in Madrid’s favour, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot struck the crossbar. The goal was getting closer and closer and Madrid’s possession was becoming overwhelming; they had another dangerous move in the fifty-first minute. Marcelo made the cross and Benzema, at the far post, shot over. The Whites’s second goal appeared merely to be a matter of time, and even more so after the great move by Özil in the sixty-seventh minute to set up Cristiano Ronaldo against Andersen, who saved well in the one-on-one.
Casemiro replaced Khedira, who was taken off with a niggle, and minutes later Di María was brought on in place of Özil. Twenty minutes were left to play and the home side continued to create dangerous chances. Once again it was Cristiano Ronaldo, from a free kick, who forced Andersen to make another blinding save in the seventy-first minute. Five minutes later Di María had two chances. The first came from the penalty arc and was punched away by the visiting side’s goalkeeper, while the second, the better of the two chances, flew into the side netting. From then until the final whistle, the Whites were dominant. Their dominance paid off in the eighty-sixth minute. A cross by Marcelo, who sped up the wing on several occasions, and a thumping header from Isco. The Spain international capped an amazing performance on his debut and added the winning goal to the assist for the equaliser. Real Madrid, who remain unbeaten, won their opening match and earned their first three points in La Liga.