A win in a match like this is measured by other things than what it does for a team in a title race, which is non-existent anymore. Real Madrid are about building morale, creating consistency among certain players, with Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo not getting a rest despite more important matches left to play, while keeping healthy those in need of more rest didn’t’ work out perfectly.
Despite playing a mostly second-tier lineup, Mourinho still used his two best players in Ronaldo and Ozil, while Karim Benzema started alongside them. Marcelo has lost his place as the starting left back and got to play against Betis, but pulled a muscle after 15 minutes and will definitely miss the first leg against Dortmund on Wednesday. Luckily for Mourinho, Fabio Coentrao is a much more important piece of the pie at the moment.
Not a brilliant match from Real, but sufficient to keep it 13 points between them and Barcelona while holding on to the second place against the chasing little sister from the other side of town. Cristiano Ronaldo had one of those days when he decided he won’t be involved in anything the team does except for connecting with crosses, and it showed in his inaccuracy or simple misfortune when going for goal.
On the other hand, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema worked wonderfully together, the first goal coming from a pretty 1-2 between them. The second goal began with Ozil as well, this time finding Ronaldo who decided to pass for a change, finding the Frenchman for the second goal, that should have made it a comfortable win and a cruiser of a match till the very end. Betis managed to come back with a penalty kick, and if it wasn’t for Raul Albiol and the woodwork, it might have ended in a disappointing draw, once again raising doubts about Real’s defensive game and the timing of Iker Casillas’ return.
Instead, Mesut Ozil was there to claim his second goal of the match in a win we’re not too sure Real Madrid deserved. It wasn’t one of the best matches from Los Blancos, who played with youngsters Nacho (decent performance, caused the penalty kick) and Casemiro, who impressed the local fans with his vision and knack for some impressive passing.
This isn’t the Real Madrid we’ll see in the Champions League, at least attitude-wise. Ronaldo is Ronaldo, while Ozil enjoyed the free space given to him, which he won’t see against Dortmund. For the rest, except for Diego Lopez and possibly Karim Benzema, they won’t even be on the pitch. A much more aggressive and obviously cohesive side will be available, hoping that it won’t need some late match luck to get themselves a good result this time.