Real Madrid had to satisfy themselves with a dry goalless draw at home against Real Betis on the weekend as their wobbly form witnessed so far in the season continues.
While the Los Blancos were the better side for major parts of the game, they were left lamenting a controversial VAR decision which might have robbed them of two crucial points. A win would have seen the Vikings catapult Barcelona to the top spot after the Blaugrana had lost 3-1 to Levante earlier in the evening.
The much talked about incident occurred in the 82nd minute amidst a late attacking surge by the Royal Whites.
Caught on the counter attack, the Betis defence saw Eden Hazard threading a neat through ball from near the half line to a rampant Karim Benzema. The in-form striker caught up with the ball on the left edge of the 12-yard box and fired in a low cross.
Betis defender Feddal slid in just ahead of him in an attempt to block the final ball, only to have the ball striking his arm as he fell. The ball thereon safely reached the goalkeeper’s glove, but had the intervention not taken place it looked certain to end up dangerously in the six yard box. Skipper Sergio Ramos was there waiting to pounce on the same and seal a first victory for the hosts in three years against the Verdiblancos at the Santiago Bernabéu.
The referee was quick to consult the Video Assistant Referee team who after an extended check, gave the decision in the visitors’ favour.
The judgement had the Bernabéu faithful roaring in disapproval, as the Betis defence held on tightly to secure a point away from home.
While the debate will continue for a while it seems, it won’t change the fact that Real Madrid could only conjure a point against a rigid defensive structure despite having a much superior game.
As things stand, they are tied at the top of the table with arch rivals Barcelona on points, with the Catalonians placed above them due to a better goal difference.