Real Madrid stunned on Cristiano Ronaldo return
La Liga, Bernabeu – Real Madrid 0 Real Betis 1 (Sanabria 90+4)
Real Betis claimed a sensational win over Real Madrid, with Antonio Sanabria scoring a stoppage-time winner for the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu, leaving the Spanish champions seven points adrift of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane’s side already had ground to make up before kick-off following draws against Valencia and Levante, but this result puts them even further adrift, with the champions failing to find the breakthrough against a composed Betis outfit.
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Real Madrid line-up after serving a five-game suspension, but not even the Portuguese forward could make the difference, spurning a number of opportunities as he struggled for match sharpness.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real MadridGetty Images
Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale hit the post as the hosts pressed hard in the second half, but they were thwarted every time, either by the woodwork or the in-form goalkeeper Antonio Adan, who returned to haunt his former side.
Then deep into stoppage time, Real Madrid found themselves exposed on the break, with Sanabria left unmarked at the back post to power home a header, securing an unlikely win for the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Where did Real Madrid’s atrocious start to the league season come from? Who could have seen this coming? Real Madrid thumped Barcelona over two legs in the Spanish Super Cup, also winning the European Super Cup. But Zidane’s side have claimed just two wins from their opening five league games and now find themselves seven points adrift of Barcelona at the top of the table. Even more concerning, Real have failed to win any of their three home games so far. What’s going on?
MAN OF THE MATCH
Antonio Adan (Real Betis): What a way to haunt your old club. Adan was in sparkling form as he denied Real Madrid at every turn. His best moment came in the save to prevent Bale from finding the net with a clever backheel flick, tipping the ball on to the far post. It wasn’t just in the saves, though, that Adan contributed to Real Betis’ win. He was commanding in every way possible. He was the leader of their firm defence.
Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid CF recats as Real Betis Balompie players celebrateGetty Images
3’ OFF THE LINE! That looked for all the world like it was going to be an opener for Real Betis. Sanabria gets the shot away on goal, beating Navas, but Carvajal was back on the line to clear.
22’ MODRIC VOLLEY! That probably should have been the opener for Real Madrid. Modric arrived on to the end of a Carvajal cross into the box, but he volleyed over the bar from about 10 yards out.
58’ BIG CHANCE FOR FRANCIS! That was the biggest moment of the young Real Betis player's career, but he gets a little excited and blasts over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.
59’ CARVAJAL HITS THE POST! Ronaldo plays a cross to the back post, where the Real Madrid right back is late in arriving on the scene. He can only hit the post with his effort, though.
77’ BALE STRIKES THE POST! What an effort that was from the Welsh winger! He flicked the ball towards goal on the volley, but Adan just about got enough on it to tip it on to the post.
89’ BETIS HAVE A GOAL CHALKED OFF! Just for a moment the visitors thought they had scored a winner, with Tello finishing from close range, but the linesman adjudged him to be offside.
95’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Real Betis: Wow! Real Betis have scored what will surely be a late winner! Real Madrid got caught out on the break, with Barragan finding Sanabria at the back post. He powers a header past Navas. Incredible!
Real Madrid failed to score in a game for the first time since 26th April 2016 (against Manchester City in the Champions League).