Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Real Betis on Sunday, as the Galacticos failed to win for the first time under new manager Zinedine Zidane.
Alvaro Cejudo’s spectacular volley in the 7th minute put the home side in front, but a 71st-minute equalizer from Karim Benzema ensured Zinedine Zidane remains unbeaten as Real Madrid manager.
With Gareth Bale absent due to a calf injury, James Rodriguez missed two great chances but finally justified his place in the front three by latching on to Toni Kroos’ brilliant through ball and teeing up Benzema for the leveler.
Betis withstood waves of late attacks from Real, with goalkeeper Antonio Adan, a former Real Madrid player, on sparkling form to keep the visitors at bay.
The result leaves Real four points adrift of leaders Barcelona and second-placed Atletico Madrid with just over half the season played.
Speaking after the game, Real Madrid manager Zidane said his team had deserved more than a single point, as the Frenchman enjoyed seeing his side push for a winner right up until the final whistle.
“No [I’m not disappointed], we are going to continue with our line of work, we are on a good path, Zidane said.
“You have to take the positives, we lost two points and that’s the negative, but we think this can be taken forward and [we can] fight for La Liga until the [end].
“The good thing is that I saw an improvement late in the game, in the second half. We now have our third week and we are going to keep working.
“I am very proud of what we did tonight, we are just missing the two points.”
Real Madrid host Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.