Real Madrid defeated Real Betis 1-0 at the Benito Villamarin on LaLiga’s Matchday 3 to continue their unbeaten start to the 2021-2022 season. Getting the full three points at the Benito Villamarin is not an easy task, so Los Blancos have to be commended for staying in the fight and winning without Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in midfield.
It was not a pretty game for Madrid, but they got the job done. It was Dani Carvajal who scored the all-important goal, finishing exquisitely from an unselfish Karim Benzema cross to the back post in what can be described as a reversal of roles.
Here are the player ratings from the narrow road win.
GK Thibaut Courtois
Captain clutch. Thibaut Courtois was not tested often by a Real Betis side that was surprisingly sloppy in the final third, but he came up big on multiple occasions. Courtois made one smart stop of a Nabil Fekir free kick early in the match, but his shining moment was definitely his save at the very last second to deny Betis an equalizer in front of their lively fans.
LB Miguel Gutierrez
Miguel Gutierrez needed only a few games at the end of the 2020-2021 season to become a fan favorite among Madridistas, and he enhanced his reputation on Matchday 3 with David Alaba moving to the center back position in light of Nacho Fernandez’s injury. Miguel frustrated Betis to the point where they had multiple yellow cards, and he had some nice moments in the attack. But his highlight was his composure defensively, staying between two Betis attackers on a two-on-one counterattack. Miguel intercepted the ball, and Real Madrid got the winning goal at the other hand soon after.
CB David Alaba
Although David Alaba had a couple of nervy moments, I thought he played well defensively. WhoScored.com credited him with three interceptions, as his pressing style of defense did pay off. And he made a couple of key interventions in his own penalty box. More will be expected from Alaba in terms of build-up play, but he did well in this clean sheet victory. He also nearly had an assist, but Rui Silva was exceptional in his alertness to sweep up the danger.
CB Eder Militao
Eder Militao was culpable one-on-one in the final seconds of the match when Real Betis had a clear shot at Real Madrid’s goal, but that mistake should not sour how we feel about his display. The young Brazilian center back did well, bullying Betis defenders and making good decisions on the ball. He even had a volley on target. In total, Miltao had three tackles and two interceptions, and he completed nearly 90 percent of his passes.
RB Dani Carvajal
Dani Carvajal was a game-changing sub against Levante, creating a goal-scoring chance with his defensive intervention. In this match at the Benito Villamarin, Carvajal started slowly and made a couple of dreadful giveaways in the first half that were uncharacteristic of him. But Carvajal more than grew into the game in the second 45, scoring the winner delightfully and providing much more solid defense for the team.