Madrid: Real Madrid closed the gap on leaders Barcelona to six points at the top of the Primera Liga when they out-gunned Real Betis with a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu. Real Madrid were without two of their "Galacticos" at the Bernabau Stadium, as they took on Real Betis, as Zinedine Zidane was injured and Raul was suffering from the 'flu. Santiago Solari and Michael Owen soon proved to be very good replacements. Solari's run down the left wing set up Owen to score in the 10th minute. It was the Englishman's ninth goal of the season. Real Betis contributed to their own downfall with a second goal for the home side three minutes before halftime. Betis 'keeper Toni Doblas picked up a backpass from defender Luis Fernandez in the penalty area and the referee had no option but to award a free kick just eight yards from goal. Striking moves David Beckham tapped the ball to Roberto Carlos, and the Brazilian ace smashed it into the net to celebrate his 300th La Liga appearance. Owen should have made it three early in the second half, but he lifted the ball over both Doblas and the Betis crossbar when clean through. Moments later Ronaldo hit the post after a good run. Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas had been forced off through injury after nine minutes of the second half, and replacement Cesar Sanchez was quickly beaten, when Real Betis striker Edu Schmidt turned and shot into the net just before the hour mark. But any hopes of a come back were snuffed out when defender Ivan Helguera made sure of a Real Madrid victory just two minutes later, looping a header into the net after Walter Samuel had headed into the penalty box from a corner. The win maintains Real Madrid's second place in the table, and cuts Barcelona's lead to six points. Real Betis drop to seventh.