Esther Gonzalez propelled Real Madrid Femenino to a 1-0 win over Real Betis. Las Blancas picked up an important three points in a matchday in which multiple rivals dropped points.
Las Blancas nearly took another early lead through Esther Gonzalez as she hit the post in the early moments of the match. Betis responded with a little spell of pressure which is all their offense could muster in the first half.
Real Madrid had most of the ball but struggled to really dominate the proceedings. Kosovare Asllani had a few good chances courtesy of Claudia Zornoza’s set-piece service. But Las Blancas lacked creativity, sending lofted balls over Betis’ high line to the tune of the offside whistle.
The second half started similarly. Las Blancas had loads of the ball but forced passes forward to offside runners. Las Blancas coach Alberto Toril made a host of substitutions as the half progressed. But it was starter and perpetual goal-scorer Esther Gonzalez who found the opener.
Esther received the ball from Ivana Andres, dribbled through the defense and finished calmly to give Las Blancas the lead. After the goal, the match became much more open and transitional. Substitute Caroline Moller Hansen had a golden opportunity to double Las Blancas’ lead in the 80th minute but her shot was saved. Real Madrid were able to see out the 1-0 result and won their fifth consecutive game in the league.
- 2’ Esther won a corner after her first shot of the match was blocked. Athenea picked up the corner kick after it deflected out of the box. The winger crossed toward the near post and Esther redirected it onto the post.
- 3’-5’ Real Betis quickly made it to the other end of the pitch and put Real Madrid under pressure via multiple corner kicks and a few open play crosses.
- 22’ Athenea nutmegged her defender in the box and turned. She played a square ball to Kosovare Asllani, who tried to poke it toward goal but the keeper was there and Betis cleared the danger,
- 30’ Claudia Zornoza swung a left-footed free kick into the penalty box. Asllani made a good run to get the better of her defender and attempted to side-foot the ball into the back of the goal. She miss-hit the flighted ball and steered her shot wide.
- 34’ Zornoza played another free kick from an almost identical position to the same target. Asllani wriggled free of her defender and tried to take the ball down in front of goal but her touch let her down.
- 55’ Betis pinned Real Madrid in their own third but Athenea won it back and sparked a counter attack. She played it to Zornoza and the midfielder released Asllani forward. The Swede was chopped down in midfield and Las Blancas were awarded a free kick.
- 59’ Allani recieved a throw-in on the turn and rumbled toward goal. She attempted to lift the ball over the keeper but she was denied and Esther was unable to get on the end of the rebound.
- 61’ Marta Cardona and Caroline Moller Hansen came on for Asllani and Sofie Svava. Olga moved from left wing to left back.
- 66’ Kenti Robles tried to bring the ball down at the top of the box and was fouled. Zornoza took the ensuing free kick and curled it just wide of the post.
- 67’ Maite Oroz and Lucia Rodriguez replaced Kaci and Kenti Robles.
- 68’ Athenea tried to cut the ball back and was brought down. She appealed for a penalty but the referee waved play on.
- 69’ Esther received a nice pass from Ivana Andres, slalomed through the defense and dispatched her shot into the back of the net, scoring a crucial goal that gave Real Madrid the lead.
- 80’ Substitute Maite Oroz played a delightful through ball to the on-rushing Caroline Moller Hansen. Moller was one versus one with the keeper but her shot was tame and saved.
- 88’ Marta Cardona drove at the defense and sprayed it wide to Athenea. The young winger crossed from the left to Esther, who was denied by a diving save.
- 90+1’ Betis carved out one last chance via a one-two on the top of the box but the shot was pushed wide of Misa’s goal.
- 90+1’ Teresa came on for Athenea.
Real Madrid Femenino hope to continue their run of good form next weekend away at Eibar. The match is slated for Sunday, February 13 at 5 a.m. EST (11 a.m. CEST).