Tag Archives: casillas

Real Madrid 4 Getafe 0 match report

Real Madrid 4 Getafe 0: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo passes 300 club goals as champions end explosive week on a high

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:54 GMT, 27 January 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and passed the landmark of 300 club goals as Real Madrid put a turbulent week behind them with a 4-0 win at home to Getafe in La Liga on Sunday to close to within four points of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

The build-up to the game at the Bernabeu had been dominated by a report in Marca sports daily that said captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos had threatened to leave unless coach Jose Mourinho was dismissed.

Real president Florentino Perez called a news conference to deny the story and accused the newspaper of lying and the Spanish champions let their football do the talking with a comfortable victory against their city rivals.

Big hug: Mesut Ozil celebrates with hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo

Big hug: Mesut Ozil celebrates with hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo

Prolific: Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal as Real Madrid smashed Getafe 4-0 in an early kick-off

Prolific: Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal as Real Madrid smashed Getafe 4-0 in an early kick-off

Mourinho, who turned 50 on Saturday, left several key players out of his starting lineup, including Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira, and Real struggled to break through a determined Getafe defence in the first half.

Once Ramos had scrambled the ball into the net at a corner eight minutes after the break the home side turned the screw and Ronaldo struck three times in 10 minutes, the first his 300th club goal.

The Portuguese, who was substituted with around 15 minutes left after a knock to his right ankle, scored five for Sporting, 118 for Manchester United and now has 179 for Real thanks to his 20th career treble.

Lead: Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Real Madrid

Lead: Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Real Madrid

Lead: Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Real Madrid

Real have 43 points from 21 of 38 matches, with Atletico on 47 ahead of their match at Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday when they will be without injured top scorer Radamel Falcao.

Leaders Barcelona, who play at Real in their Spanish Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday, are looking to get back to winning ways when they host struggling Osasuna.

Tito Vilanova’s side lost their unbeaten
record and dropped points for only the second time this season when
they suffered a 3-2 defeat at Real Sociedad last weekend but still have
an eight-point lead over Atletico.

Chase: Ronaldo's hat-trick helped Real Madrid close the gap to city rivals Atletico to four points

Chase: Ronaldo's hat-trick helped Real Madrid close the gap to city rivals Atletico to four points

Smile, Jose: Reports this week suggested Iker Casillas and Ramos wanted Jose Mourinho dismissed otherwise they would leave

Smile, Jose: Reports this week suggested Iker Casillas and Ramos wanted Jose Mourinho dismissed otherwise they would leave

Getafe, who beat Real 2-1 at their Coliseum stadium earlier in the season but whose form has dipped in recent weeks, are 11th on 26 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad 4-3

Ronaldo brace seals Real win as Mourinho forced into using Casillas after Adan red

By
Joseph Wilson, Associated Press

PUBLISHED:

19:44 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 6 January 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in a three-minute span to give 10-man Real Madrid a 4-3 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday, after coach Jose Mourinho's decision to drop goalkeeper Iker Casillas almost backfired for a second straight game.

Despite heavy criticism after last round's loss, Mourinho again started rarely used Antonio Adan, but the keeper was sent off after giving away an early penalty.

Casillas then came on but couldn't stop Xabi Prieto's resulting spot kick to cancel out Karim Benzema's opener, and it was 2-2 at halftime after Prieto leveled again following Sami Khedira's goal.

At the double: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring one of his two

At the double: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring one of his two

Ronaldo scored on the break in the 68th before hitting the winner from a free kick in the 70th. But Prieto wasn't done and scored his hat trick in the 76th to keep the wild shootout in doubt until the final whistle.

Madrid's first victory in three games left it in third place, 13 points behind leader Barcelona and four points behind Atletico Madrid before their games later.

The crowd at Santiago Bernabeu stadium voiced its displeasure with Mourinho's continued benching of Casillas by jeering the coach's name when it was announced before the game and cheering for their beloved star.

Seeing red: Referee Ignacio Iglesias sends off Real Madrid's goalkeeper Adan after six minutes

Seeing red: Referee Ignacio Iglesias sends off Real Madrid's goalkeeper Adan after six minutes

Time for a change: Iker Casillas gets ready to replace Adan after his red card

Time for a change: Iker Casillas gets ready to replace Adan after his red card

Madrid's fans, however, couldn't have asked for a better start just two minutes in when Sociedad's unbalanced defense left Benzema unmarked to receive Khedira's pass and slot beyond the stranded Claudio Bravo.

But Madrid's lead didn't last long when Mourinho's choice in goal again proved misguided.

Adan was overwhelmed last round when he conceded three goals in the loss at Malaga, and he was soon shown to be out of his depths at home as well.

The regular backup made a poor pass that Carlos Vela intercepted, and he then charged out and tackled the Mexico forward in his box.

He shoots, he scores: Ronaldo scores for Real

He shoots, he scores: Ronaldo scores for Real

The referee didn't hesitate to show him a direct red card, creating the dramatic situation of Casillas being called off the bench to defend the penalty try.

The crowd chanted 'Iker! Iker!; as the Spanish international jogged on, but there were no heroics as Prieto coolly stroked in the spot kick to equalize in the ninth.

Despite being short a man, Madrid pressed forward and deservedly went in front in the 35th through Khedira's crafty back-heeled flip to redirect a cross between the posts.
Prieto beat Casillas to restore parity at 2-2 five minutes later when he pounced on a rebound inside the area.

Goal time: Karim Benzema celebrates his goal

Goal time: Karim Benzema celebrates his goal

But Ronaldo gave Madrid control of the match when Benzema stole the ball in midfield and played the Portugal winger behind the defense for him to score.

Ronaldo then earned a free kick on the left corner of the area and blasted the ball over goalkeeper Claudio Bravo for his 16th goal in the league this season.

Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain went on as a substitute for his first action since being sidelined for two months with a leg injury and quickly found the woodwork.

Prieto appeared to give Sociedad a late hope when he shot inside the far post, but Sociedad never threatened again after Daniel Estrada was booked for a second time, leaving the visitors with 10 men for the final 10 minutes.

Real Madrid take on Real Sociedad in La Liga

Mission impossible Madrid face daunting challenge to close 16-POINT gap on rivals Barcelona

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

13:07 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:33 GMT, 5 January 2013

Real Madrid will start what many believe to be mission impossible when the Primera Division restarts for them tomorrow.

Jose Mourinho's side take on Real Sociedad with the gap between them and leaders Barcelona standing at 16 points.

For even the most ardent Madrid fan, a successful title defence would appear to be impossible, with the Champions League now the primary focus.

Back in action: Real Madrid train ahead of their match with Real Sociedad

Back in action: Real Madrid train ahead of their match with Real Sociedad

According to defender Alvaro Arbeloa, though, they just have to carry on as normal.

'Real Sociedad are in their best form and it is going to be a difficult match, but we will go into it with desire and belief.

'I just want to win all of our matches from now until the end of the season.'

One sideshow will be who Mourinho starts in goal. There was uproar before Christmas when the Portuguese opted to sit out Iker Casillas and go with Antonio Adam playing in the loss to Malaga.

'The fans will support Real Madrid because they are fans of Real Madrid and not just of Casillas,' said Arbeloa, trying to play down any possible rows.

'It is important that they support the players, but also that they support the team. Whoever plays will have the support of his team-mates.'

Speculation: Jose Mourinho could leave Real Madrid in the summer

Speculation: Jose Mourinho could leave Real Madrid in the summer

The lure of a third Champions League title is thought to be driving Mourinho on this season, while the Copa del Rey still remains an option.

Arbeloa does not look at it that way, however, and wants every game to be treated the same.

'If this team wants to win trophies, it is impossible to do that without competing and giving everything in La Liga, and so it is difficult to give everything in the Copa,' he said.

'You cannot pick one day to play well and relax on other days.

'I would just aim to win all the matches. It could be that the Champions League is an easier objective than La Liga, but we are not a team that goes onto the pitch without giving our all every weekend and then does in the Champions League.

Rested: Madrid return after the winter break 16 points behind Barcelona

Rested: Madrid return after the winter break 16 points behind Barcelona

'We have to face all the challenges in our path and to do that you have to win in all the competitions.'

Sociedad head to the capital upwardly mobile. They are seventh in the table and have been producing some eye-catching performances under Philippe Montanier.

Some have backed them to spring a surprise and, although he will not call this a chance, Sociedad midfielder David Zurutuza does acknowledge there have been worse times to play Madrid.

'I don't think there is any good moment to visit the Bernabeu, but yes, if I had to choose a time it would be now, because they are missing important players,' he said.

David De Gea may make a move to Real Madrid in the summer if the Spanish giants have their way

Real Madrid eye De Gea as long-term replacement for Spain skipper Casillas

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UPDATED:

11:52 GMT, 30 December 2012

Manchester United are braced to receive a 22million bid for David De Gea in the summer from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Iker Casillas was dropped in Real’s game against Malaga, and it seems Jose Mourinho is on the hunt for a long-term replacement for the Spain captain.

The two are known to have a stormy relationship at the club, and although 31-year-old Casillas has previously said he’d like to finish his career at Real, recent comments have indicated that he might be open to a move.

De Gea is said to be a target for Real Madrid

Homesick: There are rumours De Gea is missing his native Spain after transferring from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago

Real Madrid will bid for David De Gea

Expensive:The Spanish giants are set to bid 22million for the United goalkeeper

De Gea was signed by United as a replacement for Edwin van der Sar for over 18million.

There have been rumours that the Spanish goalkeeper has suffered from homesickness, however, since he moved from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago.

The Spain Under-21 is now the top target for Madrid boss Mourinho, according to The Sun.

A Real insider said: ‘De Gea is definitely wanted by Mourinho but a lot depends on his own future.

‘But he’s studied De Gea’s form closely and is very interested.’

Rafa Benitez could be inspired for Chelsea – Jamie Redknapp

Rafa a barmy appointment Not anymore… it could be inspired

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UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 23 December 2012

Everyone, including me, thought Rafa Benitez was a ridiculous appointment. It could be inspired. There was only one place Chelsea could go – up.

Fernando Torres is scoring and playing David Luiz in midfield makes a lot of sense. There is lots to do yet but if they keep winning, Benitez will keep the fans happy.

Revolution: Benitez will keep the fans pleased if Chelsea keep winning

Revolution: Benitez will keep the fans pleased if Chelsea keep winning

Jose on tightrope

The Champions League tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid has been billed as Jose Mourinho v Sir Alex Ferguson.

But I'm not sure Mourinho will still be in charge by that time, having controversially dropped captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, a club legend, against Malaga and lost 3-2.

Dropped: Casillas was left on the bench in Real's defeat at Malaga

Dropped: Casillas was left on the bench in Real's defeat at Malaga

Ox just needs more goals

Arsenal are back in their stride with wins over Reading and Wigan, and it was good to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting both games. He is an exciting player and has had a good year, breaking into the England team.

Where he needs to improve is by scoring more goals. In his 43 games for Arsenal, the Ox has scored just five.

Off target: Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored just five goals for the Gunners

Off target: Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored just five goals for the Gunners

Becchio on the radar

A few Premier League clubs might have their eye on Leeds' Luciano Becchio after he scored two more goals on Saturday.

That's 17 for the season, his brace against Middlesbrough moving his team to within touching distance of the play-offs. I also liked the way he took his goal against Chelsea.

In demand: Becchio has attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs

In demand: Becchio has attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs

Happy for Hillsborough

I am delighted that the Hillsborough single He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother made it Christmas No 1. The Justice Collection, featuring comedian John Bishop, put a lot of effort into it and it's great that the money will go to the families of those who died.A lot of progress has been made this year by the families.

Stevie paints it red

When Steven Gerrard and I were at Liverpool together, we used to talk about getting out the spray can. It meant spraying the ball across the field and Gerrard is the best at that. He had that spray can out against Fulham. It was his and Liverpool's best game under Brendan Rodgers.

Knee-sy does it: Gerrard turned in a fine display against Fulham

Knee-sy does it: Gerrard turned in a fine display against Fulham

Evra's ups and downs

Patrice Evra was hero and villain for Manchester United against Swansea. He showed real determination and athleticism to score an excellent header but the Frenchman didn't track Jonathan De Guzman's run, meaning he had a clear run at goal. He didn't score but Michu bundled in the rebound.

Stay on loan, Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has had a very successful loan spell at West Brom, scoring his sixth of the season to beat Norwich. Whether or not Chelsea call him back in January, the 19-year-old has proved he can more than hold his own. My advice to him would be to stay on loan.

Jose Mourinho defends dropping Iker Casillas after Real Madrid defeat

I'm OK about axing Casillas, insists Mourinho after latest Real Madrid setback

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UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 23 December 2012

Jose Mourinho has returned to Portugal for Christmas, insisting he has no regrets about dropping Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas for Saturday's 3-2 defeat by Malaga.

Real, who face Manchester United in the Champions League last 16, are third in La Liga, 16 points adrift of leaders Barcelona after 17 games.

There were suggestions Mourinho could be fired, but Real's reluctance to pay huge compensation means that is unlikely, and he was calm as he headed home to spend time with his family.

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas sits on the bench

Gamble: Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas was dropped on Saturday night

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas

'I have a clear conscience about
dropping Iker Casillas,' he said. 'I try to do the best for the team in
each match. It's good to lose to understand what others go through.
Neither before, during or after the game have I thought about resigning.
I don't fear for my position. This is football.

'At the moment, for me and my coaching staff, (Antonio) Adan is better than Iker.' Casillas last night backed his coach, saying:

'Real Madrid is more important than
me or any player. I respect Jose Mourinho's decision and I will carry on
training hard to win back my place. Mourinho hasn't given an
explanation but he doesn't when you play either.'

Not impressed: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

Not listening: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid quit talk after Iker Casillas gamble backfires

I'm not going to quit! Mourinho defiant after Casillas axe backfires in latest Real defeat

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 23 December 2012

Jose Mourinho put his Real Madrid future on the line by axing Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas amid suggestions that he was inviting the club to fire him before Manchester United visit in the Champions League in February.

Madrid fell 16 points behind Barcelona ahead of the mid-winter break after losing 3-2 at Malaga last night, leaving president Florentino Perez under pressure to act.

Mourinho was asked if, at any point, he had thought of resigning. He replied: ‘No. Not during, or after.’

Asked why he left out Casillas he said: ‘It was a technical decision. A coach analyses the players and decides.’

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas sits on the bench

Gamble: Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas
Ramos demands calm

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has called on his team-mates to ignore all the speculation surrounding their poor form.

He said: 'Once again we have dropped important points, despite the team playing well in the first half, in which we had chances to score but we didn't have any luck.

'We shouldn't think about the league leaders or anybody else. We should only think about ourselves.

'We must be self-critical and La Liga is now very difficult, practically impossible, but we need to keep on fighting.

'When we lose many conclusions are drawn, but it is when we must use our heads the most.'

Critics argue that the Portuguese has
already decided to go at the end of the season and knows that if he is
dismissed he would be due compensation of €20million (16.3m) — hence
the incendiary decision to leave out a club legend.

His supporters emphasise that the
team have conceded seven of their 17 goals from set-pieces this season
and point to Casillas’s weakness on crosses.

For Mourinho to drop the two-times European champion and World Cup winner is seen as provocative.

Former Real Madrid sporting director
Jorge Valdano said of the decision: ‘It is a show of force, to prove he
is stronger than one of the legends of the club.’

Mourinho insisted he has no
intention of quitting as Real Madrid coach and does not fear for his job.

The Primera Division season has not
even reached its winter break and Madrid's title defence looks to be in
tatters with Mourinho's men now 16 points behind runaway leaders
Barcelona following another hugely disappointing night for the
champions.

Barca extended their lead earlier in the night with a 3-1 win at Real Valladolid and Madrid were unable to react as they slumped to a 3-2 loss at fourth-placed Malaga.

That was Madrid's fourth league defeat of the campaign and seventh in all competitions this season, which is already more than they suffered in the whole of the last campaign and has seen the pressure build on coach Mourinho.

Not impressed: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

Gamble: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

Not impressed: Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez (right)

Not impressed: Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez (right)

However, the Portuguese, who took the
surprise decision to omit club captain Iker Casillas from his starting
line-up tonight, was in defiant mood when asked whether he had
considered stepping down.

He told reporters at the post-match press conference: 'Neither before, during or after the game have I thought about resigning.

'I
don't fear for my position. This is football. I'm not a child, nor have
I been here for a couple of days. Coaches know that football has no
memory and only takes into account what was done today and not what was
done yesterday.

'It doesn't take into account what titles you've won, nor the work you've done, it's all about the now.'

Madrid, who on Thursday were paired
against Manchester United in the last-16 of the Champions League,
dominated the first half against Malaga but could not take advantage and
were made to pay as Isco put the hosts ahead just after half-time.

An own goal from Sergio Sanchez levelled the scores up midway through
the second period but Malaga substitute Roque Santa Cruz struck twice in
three minutes to put the Andalusian side 3-1 up.

Lacklustre: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo

Lacklustre: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo

Benzema pulled another goal back but it was not enough to save Madrid,
whose defeat follows a Copa del Rey fifth-round first-leg loss to Celta
Vigo and last weekend's 2-2 home draw with struggling Espanyol in La
Liga.

Mourinho said: 'We're sad to have lost but the players have done their
best. They tried against Espanyol and today, but we didn't have any
luck.

'This week off comes at the ideal moment. The players are empty. They have given everything and they haven't been rewarded.'

Regarding his selection of Antonio Adan ahead of long-term first-choice
goalkeeper Casillas, Mourinho said: 'It's a technical decision. The
coach analyses the situation, looks at the players at his disposal and
chooses his team. At the moment, for me and my coaching staff, Adan is
better than Iker.

'You can invent the stories that you want but it's purely a technical decision.'

Mourinho conceded last week when Madrid fell 13 points behind Barca that
catching the leaders was 'practically impossible' and he remains
resigned to losing their title.

He said: 'Real Madrid were champions last season with a nine-point
advantage to second place. This season we are at a distance which, in my
opinion, is insurmountable. We have to assume responsibility that we
are not having a good season.'

Lionel Messi deserves Ballon D"Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, say football greats

Football greats say Messi deserves Ballon D'Or ahead of rival Ronaldo

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UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 27 November 2012

Lionel Messi should be crowned the best footballer in the world for the fourth consecutive year, according to some of the game’s greatest players.

In a poll of 13 of the Ballon D’Or’s past winners, Messi beat his greatest rival Cristiano Ronaldo by seven votes to three with three others claiming they could not choose between them.

France Football, the publication that originally commissioned the trophy back in 1956, spoke to past winners Kaka, Alfredo di Stefano, Ruud Gullit, Luis Figo, Kevin Keegan, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Marco Van Basten, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Raymond Kopa, Matthias Sammer, Franz Beckenbauer, Andrei Shevchenko and Gianni Rivera.

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Asked to give their choice, former England captain Keegan, who won the trophy in 1978 and 1979, sided with brilliant Barcelona star Messi. His view was shared by Rumenigge, van Basten, Suarez, Kopa, Sammer and Shevchenko.

Surprisingly, former Real Madrid stars di Stefano and Figo plus ex-Chelsea midfielder Gullit all said they couldn’t decide while Kaka voted for his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo as did Beckenbauer and former Milan midfielder Rivera.

Messi, who first won in 2009, is the favourite to win again at the award ceremony in Zurich on January 7.

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

The golden ball trophy was originally made to recognise the best player in Europe when it was awarded for the very first time by France Football in 1956 to Stanley Matthews and 44 players have won it in total.

It merged with FIFA’S World Player of the Year award in 2010.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES

1 Sergio Aguero
2 Mario Balotelli
3 Karim Benzema
4 Gianluigi Buffon
5 Sergio Busquets
6 Iker Casillas
7 Didier Drogba
8 Radamel Falcao
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 Andrs Iniesta
11 Lionel Messi
12 Manuel Neuer
13 Neymar
14 Mesut zil
15 Gerard Piqu
16 Andrea Pirlo
17 Sergio Ramos
18 Cristiano Ronaldo
19 Wayne Rooney
20 Yaya Tour
21 Robin van Persie
22 Xabi Alonso
23 Xavi Hernandez

Real Betis 1 Real Madrid 0: Match report

Real Betis 1 Real Madrid 0: Mourinho's band of superstars suffer yet another title setback

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UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 25 November 2012

Etxebarria Benat's first-half strike dealt a heavy blow to Real Madrid's defence of their Primera Division title as Real Betis claimed a famous win.

Jose Mourinho's men dominated throughout yet they could not find a way through Betis' defence and goalkeeper Adrian in particular after they had fallen behind to Benat's first-half strike from 25 yards.

The defeat was Madrid's first in nine league matches and they remain eight points adrift of leaders Barcelona, who could stretch their lead even further at sixth-placed Levante on Sunday.

Dejection: Sergio Ramos (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo (right) could not make a breakthrough for Real Madrid

Dejection: Sergio Ramos (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo (right) could not make a breakthrough for Real Madrid

Betis, meanwhile, made significant
amends for their 5-1 humiliation at the hands of local rivals Sevilla
last week and they moved up to fifth.

There were no signs of an upset in
the early stages as Madrid, who were on the right side of a 5-1 result
last week against Athletic Bilbao, settled nicely, with Cristiano
Ronaldo's left-foot strike palmed away by Betis goalkeeper Adrian.

Germany international Sami Khedira
fired wide from the edge of the area but the visitors were stunned when
Benat put Betis ahead against the run of play with their first foray on
goal.

The midfielder collected the ball 30 yards from goal and dribbled past Khedira before drilling low into the left corner.

Mobbed: Benat Etxebarria (right) scored the decisive goal

Mobbed: Benat Etxebarria (right) scored the decisive goal

Another one: Ronaldo did not score against Manchester City or Betis

Another one: Ronaldo did not score against Manchester City or Betis

And Mourinho's men could have been
two down had it not been for a superb save from Iker Casillas, who
tipped over Ruben Castro's strike from the left side of the penalty
area.

Yet it was Madrid who continued to
control the tempo of proceedings and Angel Di Maria spurned two decent
chances to level in quick succession.

First, the Argentinian's effort from
close range was tipped over by Adrian and the winger then latched onto
Karim Benzema's ball into the area before lifting the ball onto the roof
of the net.

Benzema thought he had grabbed the
equaliser after converting Xabi Alonso's free-kick but was ruled offside
while Di Maria beat the offside to go clean through on goal but flashed
his effort wide from a narrow angle.

The visitors continued to lay siege
to Betis' goal after the break and Kaka's shot from distance forced a
spectacular save from Adrian and only Jose Antonio Dorado's last-gasp
clearance denied Benzema from converting Ronaldo's low cross into the
area.

Whack: Jose Maria Callejon and Ronaldo are wiped out by a challenge

Whack: Jose Maria Callejon and Ronaldo are wiped out by a challenge

Ronaldo, who had only scored once in
his last five appearances before tonight, set out to end his
mini-drought but his powerful free-kick was tipped over by Adrian, who
then pushed Benzema's close-range header wide.

Madrid continued to push numbers
forward as they sought to avoid their third league defeat on the road
this season but it was all in vain as the hosts valiantly held on to
secure a valuable three points.

Malaga earlier registered their first league win in five games as they hammered Valencia 4-0 at La Rosaleda to move back into the top four ahead of Levante's game on Sunday.

The margin of victory could have been even greater for the hosts, who controlled the game from the off and went ahead just eight minutes in when Francisco Portillo curled home from Eliseu's cut-back.

Javier Saviola made it 2-0 15 minutes from time – a goal that was quickly followed by a third from Roque Santa Cruz.

Valencia were then reduced to 10 men as Adil Rami saw a second yellow card and Isco rounded off a fantastic evening for Malaga with a fourth in stoppage time.

Middle man: Luka Modric could not penetrate for Real

Middle man: Luka Modric could not penetrate for Real

Not tonight: Barcelona could stretch their lead to 11 points at Levante

Not tonight: Barcelona could stretch their lead to 11 points at Levante

Elsewhere, Real Valladolid stretched their unbeaten home run to six games as Manucho's second-half strike secured a 1-0 victory over Granada.

The Angolan had come close to breaking the deadlock in the first half with an overhead kick but made no mistake just after the hour when he was played in by Oscar Gonzalez and sent a fierce shot beyond Tono into the top corner.

Finally, Rayo Vallecano left it late to see off out-of-form Real Mallorca 2-0 in an awful game this afternoon.

A match utterly devoid of excitement looked headed for a goalless draw until Leo Baptistao broke the deadlock with a goal totally out of keeping with what had gone beforehand, firing home low from 30 yards.

He then turned provider as substitute Andrija Delibasic got a second in the 90th minute to keep the hosts well placed in the top half and condemn the visitors to a seventh defeat in eight league games.

Elsewhere: Malaga hammered Valencia

Elsewhere: Malaga hammered Valencia

Elsewhere: Malaga hammered Valencia

David de Gea wants Manchester United stay after Real Madrid reports

I'm happy at United, says De Gea as Old Trafford stopper dismisses Real switch

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UPDATED:

14:20 GMT, 28 October 2012

David de Gea has told Real Madrid he isn't interested in a move to the Bernabeu.

The Manchester United goalkeeper is wanted by the Spanish giants as a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas.

Staying put: De Gea isn't interested in a move to Real Madrid

Staying put: De Gea isn't interested in a move to Real Madrid

But despite claims in Spain that De Gea is 'homesick', the 21-year-old does not want a return to Spain.

Speaking in the Sun on Sunday, De Gea said: 'I am happy at United and not thinking about a return to Spain.'

De Gea has been in and out of the United team this season, but is determined to stake a permanent claim to the No 1 jersey from rival Anders Lindegaard.

'I've accepted the challenge to learn and improve as a professional, and fighting for my place gives me a bigger incentive to play well,' he added.