Real Madrid ended a difficult week with a frustrating 0-0 draw at Real Betis on Sunday that did little to enhance their prospects of catching Barcelona in the LaLiga title race.
The defending champions were aware that there was little room for error at Estadio Benito Villamarin in light of Barcelona’s earlier Sunday 1-0 victory against Valencia at home.
Madrid struggled offensively once more. This was after failing to make a shot on-goal in their 1-0 Copa del Rey semifinal first-leg loss to Barcelona.
Karim Benzema had a first-half goal ruled out by VAR. However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were otherwise subdued as they could only close the gap on leaders Barca to nine points.
Benzema thought he had given Madrid the lead with a superb free-kick early on. But it was ruled out after a VAR check due to the ball brushing Antonio Rudiger’s arm in the wall.
The visitors were unable to get a shot on target prior to half-time. Betis twice tested Thibaut Courtois, with Ayoze Perez forcing the Madrid goalkeeper into a good stop.
Claudio Bravo finally had something to do early in the second period, as he pushed aside Benzema’s first-time effort from near the penalty spot.
Betis continued to look threatening and would have been in front if not for a Courtois save to thwart Iglesias.
Rodrygo and Dani Ceballos both fired off target from good positions as Madrid continued to toil.
Bravo stood firm in the Betis goal in a nervy conclusion to ensure the points were shared in Andalusia.