First Division - Day 9

Betis 0 - Real Madrid 2

Betis: Doblas; Varela, Lembo, Nano, Castellini; Arzu (Capi 60'), Rivera; Cañas (Israel 46'), Edu, Xisco (Dani 60'); Oliveira. 4-2-3-1.
Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado (De la Red 82'), Iván Helguera, Woodgate, Roberto Carlos; Diogo (Mejía 78'), Sergio Ramos, Pablo García, Guti; Robinho (Jurado 90'), Raúl. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Betis: Varela, Lembo, Arzu, Cañas for Melli, Juanito, Marcos Assunçao, Joaquín / Madrid: Michel Salgado for Beckham.

0-1. 30. Robinho. Picked up short pass from Raúl and shot low wide of Doblas.
0-2. 79. Mejía. Ran past defence to head Guti's chipped pass over keeper.

A depleted Real Madrid side moved back to the top of the table pending Sunday's games after beating Betis 0-2. Luxemburgo was already missing Ronaldo, Baptista and Zidane and Beckham also pulled out of the squad with a calf muscle strain, and the coach decided to push Sergio Ramos up to a defensive midfield role, with Diogo also out of position alongside him. Serra Ferrer had his problems on the other bench as well, and he was forced to line up without any of his first choice back four, with Cañas stepping in for Joaquín who was still out with tonsillitis.

The Andalusians had the better of the opening minutes, Casillas called into action to punch away a couple of dangerous crosses from the left at the feet of Oliveira, and the Brazilian striker heading another chance just wide of the post. Sergio Ramos was fitting in well though to his new role, and he could have scored when he got on the end of Guti's free kick. And with half an hour on the clock Madrid took the lead, a passing move between Guti and Raúl ending with Diogo stepping over the ball to allow Robinho to curl a shot wide of Doblas.

Betis had a couple of opportunities to draw level with two free kick on the edge of the area close to half time, but Oliveira wasted both. Robinho tested Doblas soon after the restart, but Edu headed over the bar at the other end soon afterwards, and minutes later hit the upright with another header following a free kick from the right. But otherwise the visitors were in control, and substitute Mejía wrapped things up ten minutes from the end when he beat the offside trap to head home Guti's chipped pass. The result leaves the locals down in the lower reaches of the table, and with Chelsea to come midweek they need to bounce back as soon as possible.