Dani Carvajal scored a second half winner to give Real Madrid a 1-0 away victory over Real Betis which sent Carlo Ancelotti’s side top of La Liga.
Vinicius Junior was handed a start after impressing off the bench in last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Levante with Eden Hazard dropping to the bench for the visitors to the Benito Villamarin.
A keenly contested first half saw Karim Benzema spurn a golden opportunity after just five minutes, shooting wide from just 15 yards out, before Nabil Fekir nearly caught out Thibaut Courtois with a near-post freekick.
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Real Madrid raised their game at the start of the second half and took the lead on the hour-mark when a Benzema cross to the back post set up Dani Carvajal for a neat finish on the volley.
Hazard was introduced for the final 10 minutes as Real Betis looked for a way back into the match, but Real Madrid held the home team at arm’s length to claim all three points and go top of La Liga on goal difference.

TALKING POINT - Vinicius Junior proving Real Madrid can cope without Kylian Mbappe

For Real Madrid, this week has been dominated by discussion of Kylian Mbappe’s impending move to the Spanish capital. However, Vinicius Junior is currently proving that Los Blancos can cope without Mbappe if a deal can’t be struck with Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazilian appears to have added genuine cutting edge to his play and has given Real Madrid a different dimension in the early part of the season.

Vinicius Junior impressed for Real

Image credit: Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH - Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

There is nobody more important in the Real Madrid squad at this moment in time than Benzema. So much of their play flows through the Frenchman. He is so much more than just an excellent goalscorer, as his assist for Carvajal showed. Benzema might not have found the back of the net, but this performance still demonstrated what he offers Real Madrid. Without him, they would be in a much worse position.

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Betis - Silva 7, Montoya 8, Pezzela 5, Ruiz 6, Miranda 5, Guido 6, Guardado 5, Canales 6, Rubial 6, Fekir 6, Juanmi 4. Subs - Tello 5, Joaquin 4, Camarasa 6, Iglesias 4.
Real Madrid - Courtois 7, Carvajal 8, Militao 4, Alaba 7, Miguel 6, Casemiro 5, Valverde 6, Isco 6, Bale 6, Benzema 8, Vinicius 7. Subs - Hazard 5, Vazquez 5, Asensio 4, Rodrygo 5.

KEY MOMENTS

5’ BENZEMA... wide! That should have been the opener! Vinicius drove to the byline, his cut back was deflected, but fell into the path of Benzema who fired inches wide of the post. So close!
10’ FEKIR WITH THE SHOT! Very close to a Real Betis goal! Everyone in the box was waiting for the delivery in from Fekir, but he nearly caught out Courtois with a shot at the near post!
55’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Benzema has the ball in the back of the net, but the Frenchman was clearly offside when the ball was played into him by Casemiro.
61’ GOAL! Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid: The opener and it's gone the way of Real Madrid! Vinicius rescued a ball at the byline, he passed back to Benzema who then found Carvajal at the back post and the right back guides a finish into the far corner of the net with a neat volley!
90+6’ Montoya has a big chance! That was Real Betis' chance to grab a late, late equaliser! The ball was cut back to Montoya who was unmarked, but his low shot is saved by Courtois!

KEY STATS

Karim Benzema has been involved in five goals (two goals, three assist) in his first three games of a La Liga season for the first time in his career.
Dani Carvajal scored his first La Liga goal for Real Madrid since 2019.
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