Sergio Ramos calls on Real Madrid to 'come back stronger' after missing chance to leapfrog Barcelona in La Liga title race

A 2-1 defeat against Real Betis keeps Los Blancos in second place, two points behind their bitter rivals

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has called on his teammates to "come back stronger" after a shock 2-1 defeat at Real Betis handed rivals Barcelona the initiative in the league title race.

Karim Benzema's penalty in first-half stoppage time cancelled out Sidnei's stunning opener for Betis, but Cristian Tello struck an 82nd-minute winner.

The defeat leaves Real two points behind leaders and defending champions Barca with 11 La Liga games remaining.

"There are 11 games to go and many points still to play for. If we want to be champions, we can't let opportunities pass us by," Ramos told the Real Madrid website.

"We know this is a tough place to come against a good side. We'll reflect on it to come back stronger."

Zinedine Zidane's side trail Barcelona by two points and next face relegation battlers Eibar on Friday at the Bernabeu.

Real have now lost two of their last three league games, but bounced back from a 1-0 loss at Levante and their home Champions League defeat to Manchester City by beating Barcelona to go top last week.

"Just like we didn't lose our heads over last week's three points against Barcelona, we can't get too worked up about this either," Ramos said.

"The result (against Betis) is quite fair, we have to look at ourselves. We haven't been good today. But there's a lot still to play for in La Liga."

Betis secured their first league win in seven matches and only their second of the year to climb eight points clear of the bottom three.

Match-winner Tello, a second-half substitute for Betis skipper Joaquin, said victory was a huge boost for the club and their fans.

"We came into the game in a bad way in terms of wins and beating a team like Real Madrid in front of our fans is a proud moment for us," Tello told a post-match press conference.

Betis play at high-flying local rivals Sevilla next Sunday and Tello added: "We're going into it with lots of confidence.

"The team needed a win like this and it gives us lots of confidence to go to Sevilla's stadium and really leave our mark."

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