VAR rescues Real Madrid from the hands of Real Betis

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It was a case of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) vs Real Betis on Saturday when Real Madrid stepped out to play their second Spanish La Liga game of the season.

Madrid’s visit to Benito Villamarín Stadium was their second attempt to prove to their rivals that they plan to keep the La Liga title at the end of the 2020-2021 season. Their title defense experienced a shaky start on September 20 when they hosted Real Sociedad. The match ended 0-0.

Hence, Zinedine Zidane and his boys were condemned to get back to winning ways as fast as they could. Unfortunately for Real Betis, they were next in line to face the bruised champions. Yet, they gave a very good account of themselves to the point that the VAR has to come to the rescue of Madrid.

However, the Spanish champions started the match like true champions as the club’s Federico Valverde put them ahead in the 14th minute of the first half. At this point, it was looking like it was going to be a whitewash of the hosts but the tides turned almost immediately.

In less than 18 minutes after Real Madrid’s goal, Betis were everywhere at the visitors’ defense until in the 35th minute Aissa Mandi brought the hosts back to the match with a header.

Before Real Madrid could realize that they have just lost the lead, Real Betis were already back, firing for their second goal. The goal came in the 37th minute via William Carvalho’s boot.

At this point, Real Madrid was trailing their hosts and they had to wait for an Own Goal by Betis’ Emerson to equalize in the 48th minute.

In the 67th minute, the Video Assistant Referee had to be brought in to examine whether Emerson fouled Luka Modric. After a VAR check, the Betis’ star had to be red-carded to become the hosts’ main villain of the match.

The VAR was in action again in the 80th-minute mark when it had to be checked for a long period in order to confirm whether Betis’ Marc Bartra committed a handball while falling under pressure from Madrid’s Borja Mayoral. In the end, the VAR confirmed that it was a foul and awarded a penalty.

As expected, the captain of Real Madrid Sergio Ramos stepped up to score the spot-kick in the 82nd minute which made him the third player in La Liga history to score in 17 consecutive seasons, after Agustin Gainza (19) and Carlos Alonso (17).

Real Betis vs Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos celebrating the match-winning goal.
Sergio Ramos celebrating the match-winning goal.

At the end of the match, Real Madrid recorded 54 percent of the possession, 11 shots, and 4 were on target. While the host recorded 46 percent of the possession, 15 shots and 5 of them were on target.

Real Madrid will be in action on Wednesday, September 30 against Real Valladolid. While Real Betis’ next game is against Getafe on Tuesday, September 29.

Real Betis vs Real Madrid: Below is the full highlights.