Madrid: Mesut Oezil scored twice in Real Madrid's 3-1 win over Real Betis on Saturday as the Spanish side warmed up for their Champions League semi-final against Borussia Dortmund.
Oezil worked a clever one-two passing combination with Karim Benzema to net Madrid's opener in the 45th minute, before the France striker polished off a counterattack in the 57th from a pass by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Oezil struck again in stoppage time after Betis substitute Jorge Molina pulled one back with a penalty kick in the 72nd following defender Nacho Fernandez's foul of Ruben Castro in the area.
Madrid's Spanish league victory came at a cost, however, with Marcelo and Luka Modric both needing to be substituted for injuries. Benzema was also favoring his right leg after a collision with a defender and was subbed late.
Madrid visit Dortmund on Wednesday for the first leg of their tie. Barcelona, who visit Bayern Munich in their semi-final the day before, looked to restore their 13-point lead over Madrid in the Spanish league later on Saturday against Levante.
A minute of silence was held at the start of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu in honour of the victims of the Boston marathon bombings. Madrid coach Jose Mourinho rested several first-choice players, including his entire defense and holding midfielder. Brazilian midfielder Casemiro got his first start for Madrid after joining their reserve side from Sao Paulo this winter, while the little-used Fernandez stepped in at right back.
Betis, who stayed in seventh place and in the hunt for a Europa League spot, had their chances to get a good result. Dorlan Pabon clipped the crossbar in the 43rd just before Oezil's opener, and Castro also hit the bar in the 89th before Oezil put the game away.
Earlier, Granada outplayed Valladolid but had to settle for a 1-1 draw as the Andalusian side edged one point clear of the relegation zone. Granada played with the urgency befitting a team fighting to avoid the drop.
The hosts were only kept from scoring early and often by Valladolid goalkeeper Jaime Jimenez, who started his series of saves by pushing Youssef El Arabi's header over the bar five minutes in.
Valladolid forward Patrick Ebert scored against the flow of play in the 58th when he curled a free kick over the bar. After Granada's Nyom Allan had hit the post, Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz sent on playmaker Diego Buonanotte and the Argentine served a long pass for El Arabi to finally beat Jimenez with a bouncing header in the 73rd.