Madrid come back to beat Betis amid VAR controversy

Spanish champions Real Madrid won a five-goal thriller with Real Betis in La Liga as the controversial video assistant referee (VAR) took centre stage.

Federico Valverde put Madrid ahead from close range but Aissa Mandi – with a header – and William Carvalho scored two quickfire goals as Betis led.

Madrid were level early in the second half through an own goal by Emerson, who was later sent off by the VAR for a professional foul on Luka Modric.

The game was delicately poised and Sergio Ramos scored the winner with a ‘panenka’ penalty.

There was a long VAR check for both those decisions, with the penalty disputed because Betis’ Marc Bartra was penalised for a handball as he put his arms out, falling under pressure from Borja Mayoral.

The decision to award the penalty left Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini fuming after the game.

It was Madrid’s first win of their title defence, after a 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad last weekend.

Barcelona begin their campaign at home to Villarreal on Sunday.

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