Real Madrid ended their poor 2018-19 season on a disappointing note, as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Real Betis on Sunday.
Heading into the final game of the season, Real Madrid were aiming to end the campaign on a high, but began in an underwhelming fashion. The game in itself was quite a scrappy affair, with the first real chance falling to Real Betis near the half-hour mark, when Marc Bartra was denied by Keylor Navas.
Karim Benzema then had a great chance to put the hosts in front, but he only managed to hit the post with his strike. Real Madrid were almost punished immediately for the miss, but had Navas to thank for once again, as he dealt with Giovani Lo Celso’s chipped shot.
Things continued in similar fashion after half-time as well with neither team looking particularly dangerous. Vinicius Junior came close to breaking the deadlock for Real Madrid just before the hour mark, but saw his shot saved by the visitors’ keeper. Soon after though, Betis struck the opening blow through Loren Moron’s first-time finish after being found by Andres Guardado.
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Fifteen minutes later, Betis were 2-0 up for the good, as former Real Madrid man Jese scored on his return to the Santiago Bernabeu, to condemn his boyhood club to a humbling defeat on the final day of the season. Here’s how we rated the performances of Zidane’s men on another disappointing day in the office.
Keylor Navas: 8/10
Handed a start ahead of Thibaut Courtois in what could be his final appearance for Real Madrid, the Costa Rican kept his team from suffering a hammering at the hands of Betis. Pulled off good stops to keep out Bartra and Lo Celso in the first half and was at hand to deny the latter once again after the break.
Trudged slowly off the pitch after the final whistle, saluting all corners of the pitch, seemingly bidding goodbye to the Real Madrid faithful.
Dani Carvajal: 4/10
No lack of effort from the Spanish full-back, but had his hands full going up against the marauding runs of Junior Firpo. Could have easily seen red for a couple of reckless challenges on the Betis left-back, and both the goals for Betis came from his flank.
Raphael Varane: 5.5/10
Back into the side after missing the defeat to Real Sociedad last week, the Frenchman made good use of his pace to get his team out of trouble on occasions, but his general use of possession was a bit sloppy. Allowed Jese to drift freely to score the second.
A disappointing end to a disappointing season for the Real Madrid cantera. Slow and off-pace for most of the game as he struggled to get to grips with Moron and Lo Celso, while he misplaced straightforward passes. In general, looked out of his depth on the day.
Had a couple of promising moments when he bombed forward, but the stand-in Real Madrid captain once again struggled to make his presence felt. A couple of wayward shots aside, Marcelo did not impact the game much. Defensively not troubled a great deal, with Betis’ chief threat originating on the opposite flank.
Luka Modric: 4.5/10
Another player who tried very hard but just could not have any sort of influence on the proceedings. Ran all around the pitch, tried to fill in the gaps, but did not make any valuable contribution either in attack or in defence, with Andres Guardado getting the better of him in the midfield battle.
Marcos Llorente: 4.5/10
Handed a start in the defensive midfield role owing to Casemiro’s suspension, the Spaniard looked shaky for most of the game. Conceded a number of fouls and got booked, while not always making the right decision when on the ball. Another who could very well have played his final game for Real Madrid.
Federico Valverde: 4.5/10
After showing promising signs in recent weeks, the Uruguayan youngster had a game to forget against Real Betis this past weekend. Looked a little lost on occasions as the visitors had no problem bypassing him. Had one good moment when he set Benzema up for a chance, but the Frenchman failed to make the most of it.
Brahim Diaz: 6/10
The January signing has been one of the few bright spots of a gloomy second half of the season for Real Madrid. Was lively and sharp in the final third again, taking on his man, trying to make things happen, but the end product wasn’t quite there. Subbed off early with a possible injury.
Karim Benzema: 5/10
Real Madrid’s top scorer of the season should have put the ball into the back of the net in the first period, but only managed to hit the post. Had another chance, but took too long to fire his shot away. Apart from that, Benzema spent most of the game on the periphery and was taken off after Betis’ second goal.
Vinicius Junior: 7/10
Making his first start since Zidane returned at the helm, the Brazilian attacker, along with Navas, was one of the few positives for Real Madrid on the day. His pace and dribbling caused the Betis defence a lot of problems as he tried to make things happen for his team. Got into the box with a brilliant run in the second half, but his shot from a difficult angle was saved by Pau Lopez.
Showed great intent and purpose, but needs to work on his end product if he is to establish himself as the first-choice in the team next season.
Marco Asensio: 4/10
Came on for Brahim Diaz in the 60th minute. Did little of note to turn the game in his team’s favour.
Replaced Valverde in the 69th minute. Struggled to get into the game with Betis bossing the midfield battle. Booked.
Lucas Vazquez: 4/10
Thrown on in place of Benzema immediately after Betis struck the second goal. Had 9 touches after coming on, none of which mounted to anything substantial.