Madrid over Betis in the first leg
Certainly not the most attractive match anyone has every seen, but the boys in white got the exact result they were looking for against a Betis side that again had trouble putting the ball in the net - almost making me look like a soothsayer (scroll down), bless their souls. Italian attacker Cassano
got his first spin of the wheels and sped out in style, scoring the lone goal of the match after a bit of cheeky (sneaky?) play down close. Actually, he looked pretty good and will make a lot of madrileños happy provided his penchant for antics does not get the better of him. The talent and on-the-pitch brains are certainly there. Robinho
also had a few really nice plays in the second half and was unlucky not to score, though he really should have done better with the Beckham
cross that bounced off his chest. His fellow Brazilian attacker Baptista
continued his run of bad luck, but certainly looked much better this time around. His goal was undeservedly called back, and he had both nice runs and good touch at the top of the box, in addition to a very good header that skipped just wide. Perhaps that breakout game we have all been waiting (and waiting!) for is soon to come.
The worst part about the game from the Madrid perspective must surely be Diego Lopez'
injury - a muscular tear
, which will have him out around six weeks. Poor guy gets few enough opportunities as it is - and Iker could stand to get a rest every now and again.
Not to count the proverbial chickens, but with Madrid really gunning for this title what with the league seemingly in the firm grasp of Barcelona, you can probably bank rather heavily on Madrid's place in the semi-finals.