Marco Asensio starred for Real Madrid as they scored four second-half goals to beat Real Betis 5-3 at Benito Villamarin on Sunday.
Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5
- Asensio scores in each half
- Mandi equalises for Betis
- Nacho OG puts hosts ahead
- Ramos, Ronaldo and Benzema seal win
- Leon pulls one back late on
Asensio bagged a brace on the night having opened the scoring after just 11 minutes before restoring Real’s lead 14 minutes into the second half.
In between, Aissa Mandi’s header and Nacho’s own-goal had given Betis a deserved 2-1 lead at the interval, only for Sergio Ramos to equalise early in the second half.
Further goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema sealed the win, although Sergio Leon made them sweat with a late goal.
The first half belonged to the hosts despite their poor start. Los Blancos hadn’t made a particularly good start either, but they broke the deadlock with their first chance on 11 minutes when Asensio headed past Adan on the rebound after Ronaldo’s initial shot from inside the box on the right had been saved.
Betis were soon threatening at the other end as Joaquin swapped passes with Ryad Boudebouz before seeing his shot from 16 yards out deflected wide of the right post on 14 minutes.
Loren Moron then went close with a deft flick from Junior Firpo’s left-wing cross that flashed wide of the right post on 18 minutes, while Mandi steered a glancing header wide of the same upright from a 21st-minute corner.
?? Goals galore at the Benito Villamarín! #RMLiga
— Real Madrid C.F.???? (@realmadriden) February 18, 2018
Moron was inches away from equalising three minutes later with a drilled effort from 25 yards out that flew wide of the left post, and Keylor Navas pulled off a super one-handed save to palm Joaquin’s 30-yard free-kick away from the top-left corner on 26 minutes.
Quique Setien’s men were back on level terms eight minutes later as Mandi headed home Joaquin’s cross from the left.
Ronaldo drew a comfortable save out of Adan with a tame header from Asensio’s cross on the left on 36 minutes, but Betis went up the other end to take the lead moments later.
Joaquin made a strong run through the middle and played in Firpo, whose shot from inside the area on the left was parried by Navas into Nacho, but the defender’s poor touch took the ball over the goalline.
The final action of the half saw Ronaldo test Adan with an angled shot on the left four minutes before the break, which came at a good time for the visitors, who hit back five minutes after the restart with a bullet header from Ramos to convert a corner.
Adan was called into action five minutes later as he got an arm on Gareth Bale’s angled strike from the right and he denied the Welshman again on 57 minutes, this time on the other side of the box.
The Spanish champions went back in front two minutes later following a swift breakaway down the right flank as Dani Carvajal eluded a couple of challenges and picked out Asensio inside the box, with the midfielder guiding the ball across Adan with the instep of his left boot.
Ronaldo extended their lead on 65 minutes as he controlled Casemiro’s clipped cross inside the box on the left and shifted the ball to his right before lashing a shot past Adan from 10 yards out.
Moron wasn’t far off from pulling one back moments later as he steered a header just wide of the left post from Andres Guardado’s cross, while Navas made another splendid save at full length to keep Fabian Ruiz’s curling effort from outside the area on 69 minutes.
Guardado attempted to catch Navas off his line four minutes later with a shot from the halfway line that cleared the crossbar and had the Costa Rican scrambling back.
But they did reduce the deficit five minutes from time as Firpo’s fabulous cross to the far post was turned home by substitute Leon.
Joaquin failed to work Navas with a curling free-kick from 22 yards out that went well over the bar on 88 minutes, and late sub Benzema made him pay in stoppage time with a clinical finish from 14 yards out after combining with Lucas Vazquez when Betis gave the ball away inside their own half.