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Real Madrid’s season ends on miserable note with home defeat

Los Blancos misfired once again as Betis took the points.

Betis players celebrate Jese’s goal at the Bernabeu (Bernat Armangue/AP)
Betis players celebrate Jese’s goal at the Bernabeu (Bernat Armangue/AP)

Loren Moron and Jese teamed up to hand Real Betis a famous victory at the Estadio Bernabeu as Real Madrid’s disappointing season ended with a whimper.

Moron’s 61st-minute strike and a second from Jese with quarter of an hour remaining secured a deserved 2-0 win for the visitors on a day when Gareth Bale did not make it off the bench amid continuing speculation that he could be one of the casualties of a major overhaul by Zinedine Zidane this summer.

Zidane’s men, who started the day 18 points adrift of champions Barcelona and eight behind derby rivals Atletico Madrid, were ultimately well beaten as their Liga campaign drew to a close with a third defeat in four games.

Madrid started in positive mood with Vinicius Junior very nearly catching keeper Pau Lopez in possession early on as he gave the home fans early encouragement.

However, Betis responded to pin their hosts back and keeper Keylor Navas was relieved to be in the right place at the right time to collect Giovani Lo Celso’s 17th-minute header from Andres Guardado’s free-kick.

Full-back Marcelo blazed high and wide from distance with 23 minutes gone, but went significantly closer two minutes later after Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric had worked a short corner with Zidane’s men attempting to turn the tide.

But Navas had to tip over defender Marc Bartra’s swerving 28th-minute drive as play switched rapidly from end to end.

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Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema passed up a glorious opportunity against Real Betis (David Davies/PA)

Karim Benzema passed up a glorious opportunity to fire Madrid ahead when he latched on to Francisco Guerrero’s ill-judged 33rd-minute pass, only to hit the post with Pau saving Federico Valverde’s well-struck follow-up.

However, Navas’ fingertips came to the rescue at the other end seconds later after Lo Celso had attempted to lob him and the first half finished goalless.

Madrid stepped up a gear immediately after the restart, but were repeatedly unable to find a final ball of the required quality to hurt Betis.

Vinicius Junior was denied by Pau at his near post after turning brilliantly past Aissa Mandi into space with 57 minutes gone, and it was the visitors who took the lead within four minutes when Guardado found space on the left and his cross was perfectly weighted for Moron to fire home.

🏁 FT: Real Madrid C.F. 0-2 Real Betis Balompié ⚽ Loren 61', Jesé 75' #RMLiga

Posted by Real Madrid C.F. on Sunday, May 19, 2019

Navas had to save acrobatically from Lo Celso, who later curled a shot just wide of the far post with the keeper beaten as Betis looked to increase their advantage.

They did just that with 15 minutes remaining when substitute Jese was left unmarked in the box to latch on to Junior Firpo’s pull-back and smash the ball into the roof of the net.

PA

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