Sergio Ramos netted a controversial winner from the penalty spot to give Real Madrid their first win of the season against 10-man Real Betis after a whirlwind contest at the Benito Villamarin.
Having drawn their season opener away to Real Sociedad, Zinedine Zidane handed Luka Jovic a surprise start, with Martin Odegaard kept in the lineup over Luka Modric who dropped to the bench.
It took the visitors just 14 minutes to open the scoring through Fede Valverde, with the Uruguayan converting a Karim Benzema cross from close range to net Real Madrid’s first goal of the season.
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The dynamic of the match shifted in the space of just two minutes when Real Betis netted a quickfire double, with Aissa Mandi first powering a header past Thibaut Courtois and then William Carvalho squeezing a shot through the Belgian.
Modric and Isco were introduced for the start of the second half, with the former making an immediate impact. An Emerson own goal under pressure from Benzema restored parity before the Brazilian was sent off for bringing down Jovic as he was clean through.
VAR was used again to decide Marc Bartra had handled inside the area to prevent substitute Borja Mayoral from getting a shot away, presenting Ramos with the chance to Panenka a spot kick past Joel Betis, giving Real Madrid all three points.
TALKING POINT - Luka Modric serves a reminder of his importance to Real Madrid
Zidane decided to opt for Odegaard over Modric from the start, but was forced to introduce the Croatian at the half time interval due to a lack of control in the centre of the pitch. It’s natural that the Real Madrid manager wants to phase Modric out of the side given his age, but this was a reminder of just how important he remains to his team, with the away side improving after he was substituted on.
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (2L) and Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric celebrate after scoring wduring the Spanish league football match Real Betis against Real Madrid CF at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville on September
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH - Fede Valverde (Real Madrid)
Towards the end of last season, some questions were posed of Valverde. After making himself indispensable to Real Madrid over the first half of the campaign, the Uruguayan suffered a dip in form over the final few weeks, leading some to suggest he could be replaced by Odegaard. But this was a demonstration of what Valverde offers Real Madrid in his hybrid central midfield-right wing role. He was the best player on the pitch, providing structure, energy and goal threat with runs from deep.
Real Madrid's Uruguayan midfielder Valverde celebrates with French forward Karim Benzema after scoring during the Spanish league football match Real Betis against Real Madrid CF at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville on September 26, 2020
Image credit: Getty Images
Real Betis - Robles 6, Emerson 4, Mandi 6, Bartra 6, Moreno 4, Guido Rodríguez 6, William 7, Fekir 6, Joaquín 6, Canales 7, Sanabria 6. Subs - Tello 5, Montoya 5, Moron 4.
Real Madrid - Courtois 7, Carvajal 6, Varane 6, Ramos 7, Mendy 6, Casemiro 5, Kroos 4, Valverde 8, Odegaard 5, Benzema 7, Jovic 6. Subs - Isco 5, Modric 8, Mayoral 6.
14’ GOAL! Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid: The away side have taken the lead and Real Madrid have their first goal of the season! Benzema worked the opportunity to get the cross into the middle and Valverde was on hand to convert the finish into the back of the Real Betis net from six yards out!
35’ GOAL! Real Betis 1-1 Real Madrid: That goal had been coming! Canales whipped a delivery into the Real Madrid box after a short corner and Mandi got above Casemiro to power a header past Courtois! There was nothing the Belgian could do to stop that! Betis are back on level terms!
36’ GOAL! Real Betis 2-1 Real Madrid: It's two goals in two minutes! Real Betis have turned this game on its head! Fekir fed the ball into Carvalho and the Portuguese international squeezed a shot past Courtois! Might the Real Madrid goalkeeper have done better with the save?
48’ GOAL! Real Betis 2-2 Real Madrid: Real Madrid are back on level terms! The pass was fed out to Carvajal, who played the ball to the back post and Benzema was on hand to finish from close range, although the final touch might have come off Emerson as he tried to make the challenge.
70’ SENT OFF! After a lengthy VAR review, the referee has shown a straight red card to Emerson for nudging Jovic in the back as he was clean through on goal! Real Betis have been reduced to 10 men.
83’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! The referee has decided Bartra handled the ball to stop Mayoral getting a shot away on goal! That is a very harsh decision on the Betis defender!
83’ GOAL! Real Betis 2-3 Real Madrid: Panenka! Of course it's a Panenka! Ramos steps up to the penalty spot and makes Robles look rather foolish with the chipped finish down the middle! The former Sevilla man scores what could be the winner against Real Betis!
Sergio Ramos became the third player in La Liga history to score in 17 consecutive seasons.
Real Madrid have now extended their unbeaten run in La Liga to 13 games (their defeat to Real Betis in March is their last loss in the competition).