Real Betis 0-5 Real Madrid: 6 Things We Learned

Paul Wilkes@@paulwilkesfootyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2014

Real Betis 0-5 Real Madrid: 6 Things We Learned

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    A change of manager has not changed Real Betis' fortune, as the club still sit bottom of the table.

    Juan Carlos Garrido is still without a league win and the arrival of Real Madrid is hardly likely to ease the pain.

    Los Blancos knew that a win would temporarily put them level with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

    In this article, we take a look at six things we learned from this clash.

Ronaldo can still hit them

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    After some wayward shooting against Espanyol and a rather fortunate free-kick in the game with Osasuna, Cristiano Ronaldo produced an absolute screamer.

    Perhaps the Betis defenders had watched those matches and thought providing Anderson doesn't move 'we will be fine from distance.' That didn't prove to be the case.

    The wonderful strike capped off a brilliant week for the Portuguese superstar. He now has 21 goals in La Liga this season, which is five more than Betis have managed as a team.

Anderson knows when he is beaten

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    The former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper stood motionless as both Ronaldo's and Gareth Bale's shots sailed past his ears.

    He was a little closer to the other three goals as he made an effort to get something on them.

    His expression and body language said it all after the Bale free-kick, as he held out his arms in disbelief.

    No one in green was in a position to point any fingers.

Benzema is a Madrid centurion

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    The Frenchman became the 19th player in Real Madrid's history to reach 100 goals for the club.

    Few would have envisaged this happening when he first arrived at the Bernabeu, but he has grown in stature as the years have gone by.

    Fans have questioned his attitude, commitment and demeanour at times, but he has continued to respond to criticism in the best way he knows.

    The fact that the club didn't replace Gonzalo Higuain in the summer shows the confidence now placed in him.

It's going to take something special to lift Betis out of trouble

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    It's not as if Betis didn't have moments of encouragement, and a one-off match with mega rich Real Madrid is not really the marker for how they will fare for the rest of the season. However, they just don't look like a winner.

    The club are without a league win in 13 games and it's no win in five for Garrido, which includes four defeats.

    In cup competitions they have a 50% win rate, but that's not going to keep them in the Primera Division.

Modric is the main midfield creator

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    The importance of Xabi Alonso was seen in the earlier games of the season as the deep-lying playmaker sat out a number of fixtures through injury.

    This is no longer such an issue as Luka Modric continues to come into his own.

    His sublime touches and peripheral vision are a joy to watch, whilst he has a decent shooting range when the opportunity arises.

    The biggest problem Carlo Ancelotti faces in the midfield area is obtaining the right balance with Sami Khedira a long-term casualty.

Newfound Defensive Resilience

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    Five consecutive clean sheets in 2014 for Real Madrid.

    The defence look like a real unit. In goal, the debate over Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas has all but dispersed.

    Dani Carvajal is improving every match and offers more support in the build-up play than Alvaro Arbeloa.

    When he is fit, Marcelo is a big upgrade over Fabio Coentrao.

    Then the partnership of Pepe and Sergio Ramos looks strong, with the concentration of the two of them looking very focused.