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Real Madrid closed out their title-winning LaLiga campaign with a low-key 0-0 draw against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday.
Neither team had anything to play for and that was clear from the outset, with the match played at a sedate tempo as Madrid looked to avoid overexerting themselves ahead of next weekend's Champions League final against Liverpool.
Carlo Ancelotti named a strong line-up for the match but Los Blancos remain winless and goalless in five home league games against Betis.
Marcelo and Isco were sent on for their final appearances at the Bernabeu but it was not to be a triumphant farewell as Betis held on for a draw.
Toni Kroos fired wide after Karim Benzema's shot was blocked and Willian Jose narrowly missed the target from 20 yards after an open start to the half.
Decent openings were few and far between, but Casemiro rifled a low drive just outside the post on the stroke of half-time after charging through the middle.
Benzema volleyed straight at Rui Silva seven minutes after the restart and Rodrygo sent his follow-up wide under pressure from Marc Bartra.
Joaquin came off the bench in the 74th minute for his 600th LaLiga appearance, joining Andoni Zubizarreta (622) as the only players to reach the milestone.
The 40-year-old winger was unable to mark the occasion with a goal as he lifted an effort from the edge of the six-yard box over with three minutes remaining, but the point was enough for Betis to clinch fifth place.
What does it mean? Madrid through unscathed
Although Casemiro looked to be struggling with a minor injury during the first half, he appeared to recover before being replaced at half-time.
It may well have been a planned switch with an eye on the Champions League final, and if it was then Madrid avoided any unwanted setbacks ahead of the match in Paris.
Benzema fires a blank
Despite getting seven efforts away – with a combined expected goals total of 0.81 – Benzema was unable to add to his haul of 27 LaLiga goals. However, it is almost certain to be enough for him to become the first Frenchman to win the Pichichi Trophy.
Betis bogey team
Madrid have now failed to beat Betis in five successive home LaLiga matches – and they have not scored a single goal in that run. With LaLiga glory secured and a major final to come, they will not be overly worried, though.
Key Opta Facts
- Madrid have won just two of their last seven LaLiga games against Real Betis (D3 L2), having won four of their previous five against them in the competition beforehand (L1).
- Los Blancos have kept a clean sheet in the last four LaLiga games at home, their best tally at home since the four registered between June and July 2020 and their best at Santiago Bernabéu since 2015 in the first four games under Rafa Benitez.
- Madrid have ended five games in LaLiga this season without scoring at home, equalling their worst record at home in a single campaign (five in 1984-85 and 1993-94).
- Betis have ended LaLiga 2021-22 in the fifth place, their second best position in the final table in the 21st century after fourth in 2004-05.
- Manuel Pellegrini has managed more LaLiga away games against Madrid without winning than he has versus any other side in the competition: 10 games (D5 L5).
Madrid will look to win a 14th Champions League/European Cup when they take on Liverpool on Saturday week, while Betis can prepare for another season in the Europa League.