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Real Madrid spurn chance to go top after shock defeat at Real Betis

Los Blancos would have moved one point clear of Barcelona with victory at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

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Real Madrid fell to a surprise defeat at Real Betis (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

Real Madrid fell to a surprise defeat at Real Betis (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

Real Madrid fell to a surprise defeat at Real Betis (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

Cristian Tello’s second-half goal clinched a surprise 2-1 win for Real Betis against Real Madrid at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville.

Tello fired Betis to their first win in eight games and their second in LaLiga this year after Karim Benzema’s penalty had cancelled out Sidnei’s superb opening goal.

Madrid, who struck the crossbar through Ferland Mendy in the second half, missed the chance to leapfrog Barcelona at the top of the table and have lost three of their last four games in all competitions.

Vinicius Junior was first to threaten, firing just wide from inside the penalty area in the 16th minute, while Edgar Gonzalez and Marc Bartra both headed off target for Betis following set-pieces.

Betis forward Nabil Fekir’s shot was brilliantly saved by Thibaut Courtois and the home side took the lead in spectacular fashion five minutes before half-time.

Fekir provided the assist following a corner and Sidnei crashed home an unstoppable rising shot past Courtois into the top corner.

But the Brazilian centre-half was culpable as the visitors drew level in first-half stoppage time.

Marcelo drew the foul from Sidnei inside the area and Benzema stepped forward to convert the subsequent spot-kick, sending Betis goalkeeper Joel Robles the wrong way for his 14th league goal of the season and 19th in all competitions.

Betis started the second half well and Los Blancos were given a huge let-off in the 55th minute after a rapid counter-attack from the home side.

Courtois was left exposed in a two-on-one but after Joaquin rounded the keeper, the Betis skipper failed to turn the ball into an empty net.

Betis continued to look the more likely to find a second goal and Fekir’s dangerous low cross was snaffled by Courtois.

Nabil Fekir, left, was in fine form against Real Madrid
Nabil Fekir, left, was in fine form against Real Madrid (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

The visitors picked up the pace midway through the second half and went close to taking the lead.

Luka Modric’s sizzling effort from outside the box forced Robles into a sprawling save and substitute Ferland Mendy’s follow-up hit the crossbar.

Andres Guardado then volleyed wide for Betis before cashing in on Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos’ error to regain the lead.

Tello, far left, celebrates scoring the match-winning goal
Tello, far left, celebrates scoring the match-winning goal (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

Ramos sent his pass out of defence straight to Guardado and he slipped in Tello, who coolly slotted a low finish beyond Courtois.

Madrid threw caution to the wind in the closing stages. Ramos’ header across the face of goal was well claimed by Robles.

The visitors poured forward in stoppage time and Benzema went close to snatching a point for his side but fired wide from 20 yards.

PA