Real Madrid edged past Real Betis by 3-2 with Ramos’ winning penalty

Real Madrid edged out Real Betis 3-2 in an eventful game for their first win of the La Liga season on Saturday, thanks to a late Sergio Ramos penalty that was furiously protested by Betis.

Madrid captain Ramos again showed nerves of steel to chip into the net from the spot after a VAR review for a handball by Betis defender Marc Bartra, who appeared to have been pushed by Madrid forward Borja Mayoral.

Earlier in the second half, Betis defender Emerson was given a straight red card for a foul on Luka Jovic following a VAR review, while Madrid’s equalising goal, given as an own goal by Emerson, was awarded after another VAR intervention ruled Karim Benzema had been onside in the build-up.

Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde had given the champions the lead in the 14th minute with a finish from close range after fine work by Benzema by the byline. But Betis struck twice in quick succession through Aissa Mandi and William Carvalho to take a 2-1 lead at halftime.

“We know what we can do and we’ll improve,” Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said after the match. “We started well in the first 15 minutes and after the goal we dropped back a bit. It’s difficult. We’re better when we go forward, and we go for the opponent.

“They scored and then quickly got the second, then in the second half we did well… When you’re behind it’s hard to change the dynamic and that’s important. We had a lot of chances and people say we don’t score, and today we scored three and we could have had more. I’m proud of the players.”

Zidane added it wasn’t his place to comment on VAR after the game.

“There’s a referee there and he looks at the plays. In the end it’s fair what happened. He’s in charge. I never get involved with referees and I won’t today. The important thing is the game we played, we gave everything on the pitch, a difficult match against a team that won their first two games, and we can be happy with the job done, they’re three important points,” he said.

Ramos said VAR interventions don’t always benefit Real Madrid.

“I’d have to see them again, I was a long way away and I can’t judge. From what I’ve been told it was a clear penalty. It can’t change now. Sometimes they help us, sometimes they hurt us, referees are there to do the best job possible,” he said.