Antonio Sanabria stunned Real Madrid as his last-gasp header secured Real Betis a dramatic 1-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo completed his five-match ban to partner Gareth Bale up top for Madrid, with Isco playing behind the pair in a 4-3-1-2 formation.
Interestingly, all of Los Blancos’ substitutes were Spaniards, five of whom graduated through their youth academy, among them ex-Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos.
You would have to go all the way back to 1998 for the last time the Andalusians won at the Santiago Bernabeu, courtesy of Finidi George’s goal in a 1-0 victory.
Visions of the Nigerian winger almost immediately resurfaced, when Dani Carvajal cleared Antonio Sanabria’s shot off the line in just the third minute.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, nearly marked his return with a deft backheel moments later, but it was blocked in the nick of time.
Yet Betis weren’t without their chances as Victor Camarasa let one fly from 25 yards out, only for his effort to swerve just wide of Keylor Navas.
Back at the other end, Luka Modric had only Adan to beat, but the goalkeeper pushed away his close-range strike.
The Croatian then hit the ball first time in the box, a matter of yards away from the ex-Madrid man’s goal, but his shot clipped the crossbar.
Bale was struggling to impact on proceedings like he did at Real Sociedad over the weekend, but he nonetheless laid off Ronaldo to his left, whose daisy-cutter was saved by Adan.
Casemiro climbed highest to meet a cross from the right, but his header flew inches wide of Adan’s far post.
Carvajal’s awful throw suddenly gifted a Betis breakaway. yet Fabian Ruiz’s strike from the just inside the box was tipped over the bar by Keylor in full-reflex mode.
Modric played an eye-of-a-needle pass to release Isco, who shifted to his left for a clear sight of goal, but Adan pushed his curler away.
Ronaldo tried to force the issue just before the interval, powering a drive on target, but it was deflected over.
More to follow…
Real Madrid 0-1 Real Betis
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Bale, Ronaldo
Real Betis: Adan; Barragan, Mandi, Feddal, Durmisi; Javi Garcia, Camarasa (Guardado 44); Fabian, Francis, Tello; Sanabria
Referee: Mateu Lahoz