This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Dani Carvajal’s sublime volley in the second half ensured Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory in LaLiga against Real Betis.
Carvajal hadn’t scored for Los Blancos since November 2019, but the full back marked his return to the flank with a second-half shot that any striker would have been proud of.
The Spanish international’s goal at Benito Villamarín on Saturday was enough for Carlo Ancelotti’s team to notch two wins out of three and rise to the top of the table.
Betis had their chances, but Madrid, reportedly hoping to sign Kylian Mbappé before the transfer window closes next week, improved their game in the second half and earned all three points.
Vinicius Junior was rewarded with a start after his double in the draw against Levante last weekend and the Brazilian forward was buoyant from the start.
He exploded down the left before showing great awareness to slice the ball back for Karim Benzema, who fired a shot just past the far post with his right foot.
Eder Militao put Rui Silva to the test with a volley before Thibaut Courtois slapped Nabil Fekir’s free kick and Martin Montoya missed the goal in a promising spell for Betis.
Referee Alejandro Hernández Hernández handed out five yellow cards in quick succession, including one for Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini, in the final stages of an energetic first half.
Benzema had a goal disallowed early in the second half because he had drifted offside, but the French forward scored the first goal just after the scheduled time.
Vinicius showed great pace to keep the ball in play at the baseline and found Benzema, whose precision center was drilled by Carvajal with his right foot.
Marco Asensio came close to adding a second when he fired wide from just outside the penalty area after a mounting run and Eden Hazard was rejected by Silva at the end. Courtois avoided a shot from Montoya right at the end as Madrid held on for maximum points.
What does it mean? Promising start for Los Blancos
Madrid had won just one of their five previous LaLiga encounters with Betis, so Ancelotti’s men knew a battle awaited them.
They passed a great test, consigning Betis to a first loss of the season and keeping a clean sheet first after conceding three last time out.
The Whites will head to the international break buoyed by a promising start, with their unbeaten streak extended to 21 LaLiga games, and the possible arrival of Mbappé would give them a big boost.
Carvajal makes a big impact on both ends
It took a moment of class to settle such a tight encounter and Carvajal provided it, bursting into the area to unleash an unstoppable volley towards the far corner of the net.
He was also rock solid with his defensive duties, gaining possession nine times as Betis showed a lot of effort without being able to break Madrid’s bottom line.
Betis forward Fekir was at the center of the action in the first half and was close with a free kick.
He was also disappointed with an embarrassing dive into the penalty and was shown a yellow card for his theatricality.
Madrid host Celta de Vigo in their first game after the international break on September 11, and Betis travels to Granada the next day.