Ramos returns to haunt Betis as Madrid stage comeback win
Reuters - Real Madrid edged Real Betis 3-2 in an eventful game for their first win of the Liga season on Saturday, thanks to a late Sergio Ramos penalty that was furiously protested by the hosts.
Madrid captain Ramos again showed nerves of steel to chip the ball into the net from the spot after a VAR review for a handball by defender Marc Bartra, who appeared to have been pushed by visiting forward Borja Mayoral.
Earlier in the second half, Betis defender Emerson was shown a straight red card for a foul on Luka Jovic following a VAR review, while Madrid's equaliser, given as an own goal by Emerson, was awarded after another VAR intervention ruled that Karim Benzema had been onside in the build-up.
Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde had given the champions a 14th minute lead with a close-range finish after fine work by Benzema on the byline. But Betis struck twice in quick succession through Aissa Mandi and William Carvalho to take a 2-1 halftime lead. After drawing their first game of the season 0-0 at Real Sociedad, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane ripped up his usual 4-3-3 formation for a 4-4-2 and handed a rare start to 60-million euro striker Luka Jovic, who partnered Benzema.
The Serbian offered little in attack during the game but still played a decisive role in the win, drawing the foul from Emerson which saw the Brazilian sent off in the 68th minute. Madrid's run to last season's title was aided by a series of refereeing decisions going their way, but Ramos did not think his side were receiving special treatment. 'Sometimes the referee goes against us, other times the decisions are in our favour, but I don't think it's intentional at all,' said the defender, who finished last season with a career-best 11 goals. Ramos also said his side needed to be more consistent.
'It was a difficult game but this is what makes football special. We played well in the first 15 minutes then we gifted them the ball and a team like Betis who know how to play well will always create chances and score against you,' he added. 'We have to learn from today because we're not always going to be able to react like we did. But today we got away with it as we had an excellent second half.'
By Richard Martin
Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi says that Betis created plenty of chances and could have scored more. "I can't speak about certain incidents tonight". Adds that Betis were the better side at times and that it's very difficult against a strong Madrid team.
Sergio Ramos says Madrid suffered early on against a quality side. Also says the importance is their mentality and the fight to come back. Madrid took control of the game and got the all-important win. He adds that against Sociedad last weekend, they lacked bite in front of goal.
It's all over at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. Madrid turn it around and come back to win 3-2, after being 2-1 down at half-time in a game that had it all.
Real Betis 2-3 Real Madrid
The ref blows it up. Madrid get their first win of the season with a hard-fought victory away to high-flying Betis.
Benzema caught offside. Betis now with the ball and head forward looking for a crucial third.
Madrid take hold of possession. Isco fouled and it's a free to the away side. Time for them to run down the clock.
Still Betis 2-3 Madrid
Betis looking for a way through.
Still time for more action here! We've 8 minutes added-on time. Red cards, own goals, five goals. Let's see what's left
8 minutes added on here at the Estadio Benito Villamarín!
Mayoral gets caught offside again. Not long left for Betis to get an equaliser. Still 3-2 to Madrid.
Robles to the rescue! Magic save from the keeper to deny Madrid a fourth from close range.
Ramos has now scored 24 penalties in a row! Simply outstanding.
As cool as you like, captain Ramos calmly tucks his penalty away. Real Madrid lead with just under 10 minutes to go.
Mayoral goes through but swipes at the chance in front of goal.
Three Madrid players offside. Betis held their line well. Madrid clearly keen to get a third!
15 to go and this could go either way. Madrid need their first win! Betis want to stay top.
William Carvalho's curler goes just wide of Courtois' post. Courtois at full stretch to get a touch on it and tip it past the post. Great effort!
Nabil Fekir OFF
Loren Moron ON
Borja Mayoral comes on for Luka Jovic. Mayoral's first appearance for Los Blancos since August 2018.
Karim Benzema misses from three yards out! Another sitter missed by Madrid. Ramos with one in the first half. Not like the French striker - the whole goal was gaping.
Montoya comes on for Sanabria. 20 minutes remaining. 2-2. What a game we have on our hands!
Ramos' free-kick goes just wide. Can Betis hold on with 10 men or will they go for it?
Betis are down to 10 men!
Emerson gets sent off! His night goes from bad to worse. An own goal and a red card. Nightmare!
Jovic through, Emerson behind him and there's a tangle. VAR checking. Jovic doesn’t go down until after shot.
Joaquin comes off for Cristian Tello. Tello scored the winner when these sides met in March. Can he do it again tonight?
Patient play from Betis, Joaquin at the heart of it. Carvajal breaks down the threat for Madrid. 2-2.
Borja Mayoral is warming up for Madrid. He's been linked with a move to AS Roma this week.
Just over a half an hour to go in this one, but we don't want it to end! End to end stuff.
Fekir goes close for Betis. The home side continue to threaten.
Luka Modric gets his name in the book for a challenge on Guido Rodriguez.
A frenetic pace between both sides tonight. Both looking for a third. Game on!
Benzema smashes an effort off the crossbar. Looks like it may have crossed the line! The game continues. More madness in the Benny V!
Dani Carvajal fires it across the box and Emerson bundles it into his own net. Madrid back in it.
Two like for like changes for Madrid. Isco straight into Odegaard's spot and Modric where Kroos was.
Second substitution for Zidane.
Isco in for Odegaard.
And the second half is underway.
Betis celebrating their second goal of the night. Madrid will be looking to pick things up in the second half as they look for their first win of the season.
Very entertaining game, Madrid opened the scoring through Fede Valverde, but two goals in two minutes from Mandi and Carvalho have Betis in front.
Half-time: Real Betis 2-1 Real Madrid
As things stand, Betis are top of the league. Big 45 ahead.
Looks like Kroos has a muscular problem and has been taken off before half-time.
Toni Kroos is replaced by Luka Modric.
Pellegrini will be delighted with his team's response. Zidane, on the other hand, will he change it at half-time?
Guido Rodriguez picks up a silly booking for a foul on Benzema.
What a turnaround at the Benito Villamarin. Two goals in two minutes and it's 2-1 Betis.
Courtois will be kicking himself with that one. Carvalho's effort sneaks under the big Belgian.
Mandi heads home from Canales' cross! 1-1
Alex Moreno taking tips from Ferland Mendy. Bombing forward from left-back for Betis. Ball switches to the right, but cross comes to nothing.
Very strong defending from Mandi to prevent Benzema entering the Betis box.
It's an empty stadium but Betis subs are still doing the 26th minute applause for Miki Roque. Nice touch
The oldest man on the field has been quiet thus far. Joaquin, 39 years young.
Martin Odegaard is like a new signing for Real Madrid. Good decision recalling him from his very successful loan spell with Real Sociedad.
Another chance for the home side. Tonny Sanabria smacks a shot from distance and it's not far off.
Betis slowly coming into it. Remember in the corresponding fixture in March, Los Verdiblancos won 2-1.
So close! Fekir drives it low and hard from the edge of the box. Could've been 1-1.
Madrid remain unbeaten in their last 12 league meetings.
Ferland Mendy offering so much down the left for Madrid. He looks like he'll be first-choice left-back again this season.
How has he missed it? Ramos with practically an open goal from 6 yards out
Lovely cross from Benzema for Valverde to fire home from close range.
Real Betis 0-1 Real Madrid
Horrible challenge from Emerson on Casemiro. Casemiro remains down.
Zidane gets a touch, what a player he was!
Madrid slowing things down now. Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde and Odegaard knocking it about in the middle.
Superb save from Courtois to deny Betis' Tonny Sanabria from point-blank range. Huge chance!
Ferland Mendy bursts forward once again, his right-footed effort goes well wide of the target.
A very lively opening five minutes in the Andalusian capital tonight. All we're missing is 54,000 fans.
Chance for Betis! Fekir goes through and wins a corner for his efforts. The Frenchman is magic.
Luka Jovic gets a rare start for Madrid tonight.
Superb cross from Mendy to Benzema, but he's a yard offside.
Betis playing from left to right. Madrid in black and pink tonight.
We're underway in Seville!
Karim Benzema out on the turf ahead of tonight's match.
In the previous meeting between the sides at the Estadio Benito Villamarín, a Cristian Tello strike with 10 minutes remaining on the clock gave Betis a 2-1 victory over Madrid.
We're kicking off in Seville in just under 20 minutes time!
Manuel Pellegrini faces his old team Real Madrid tonight. He managed Los Blancos during the 2009/10 season.
Real Madrid’s oldest supporters’ club Peña Casa Mariano is 100 years old
A century ago, in a bar at the top of a narrow street in Lavapiés, 'madridísmo' was born. Mariano Herrero and four friends set up the first Real Madrid supporters’ club.
It's game three of the season for Manuel Pellegrini's Real Betis who have started the new campaign in flying form with two wins from two.
Real Madrid play their second game of the campaign after they were held to a 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad.
Casemiro comes back into the Real Madrid midfield, after starting on the bench versus Real Sociedad on the opening day of Madrid's season.
Luka Jovic also gets the nod from Zidane, starting alongside Karim Benzema in attack.
Real Madrid XI
Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Odegaard, Jovic, Benzema.
Real Betis XI
Joel Robles, Emerson, Bartra, Mandi, Alex Moreno, William, Guido Rodriguez, Joaquin, Fekir, Canales, Sanabria.
All the latest team news as Real Betis prepare to host Real Madrid at the Estadio Benito Villamarín on Saturday, 26 September.
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Real Betis vs Real Madrid
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Real Betis vs Real Madrid, with the action kicking off at 21:00 CEST at the estadio Benito Villamarín.