Owen nets in Real win
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Real Madrid cut into Barcelona's lead at the top of La Liga with a 3-1 win over Betis.Real Madrid cut into Barcelona's lead at the head of La Liga with a 3-1 win over Real Betis.
The Galacticos went into the game without their talisman, as Raul missed the game with flu, but it mattered little as his replacement Michael Owen set them on the way to three points with the opener.
Roberto Carlos and Ivan Helguera added to Real's tally, while Edu grabbed a consolation for Betis, but one worry for Real is that keeper Iker Casillas had to leave the field due to injury.
Real are now just six points behind leaders Barca at the summit of La Liga and the title race is wide open once again.
Owen has sat patiently on the bench for much of the season, but he took his chance to impress coach Wanderley Luxemburgo with the opener on 10 minutes.
The England striker collected the ball on the edge of the six-yard box and spun well before sending in a shot which dribbled through the keeper and over the line.
Real had chances to extend the lead, but it was not until Roberto Carlos netted shortly before the break that the Santiago Bernabeu crowd could let out a collective sigh of relief.
The Brazilian's goal was a trademark blast, but it came in controversial circumstances as Real were awarded a free kick eight yards out for a backpass.
Roberto Carlos took a huge run up and lashed the ball through a cowering Betis wall to hand the home side a cushion.
Casillas left the scene ten minutes after the interval with what appeared to be a thigh injury, and the club will be sweating over his fitness, and it briefly affected their composure as Edu netted on the hour - just after Owen had blazed over the bar and Ronaldo had hit a post.
Betis were quickly rocked back on their heels when Helguera headed in within 60 seconds, as Real claimed the three points.
Click below for a match summary:
Real Madrid 3-1 Real Betis
Click here for the Primera Liga table.