MADRID: Captain Sergio Ramos grabbed yet another crucial goal as Spanish champions Real Madrid won a five-goal LaLiga thriller 3-2 against Betis.
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.
Sergio Ramos scored the winner with a chipped ‘Panenka’ penalty to provide coach Zinedine Zidane with his 100th LaLiga victory.
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.
That was Real Madrid’s first win of their title defence, after a 0-0 draw with Real Valladolid last weekend.
Barcelona – with skipper Leo Messi raging publicly at the departure of Luis Suarez for Atletico Madrid – start their season at home to Villarreal on Sunday.
In Italy . . .
Inter Milan fought back with two goals in the last five minutes as they began their Serie A campaign with a 4-3 win over Fiorentina.
Runners-up last season and seen as the main challengers to the dominance of Juventus this term, Inter suffered one of their familiar slumps as they fell 3-2 behind to a Fiorentina side inspired by 37-year-old Franck Ribery.
But an 87th minute equaliser from Romelu Lukaku followed by Danilo D’Ambrosio’s header two minutes later gave them the points – and possibly spared them one of coach Antonio Conte’s infamous dressing-downs after the game.
In France . . .
Rennes’ Sehrou Guirassy struck a brilliant volley and Adrien Hunou netted with a superb lob to help their side top Ligue 1 with a 3-0 win at Saint Etienne, while Marseille snatched a point in a 1-1 draw with Metz.
Rennes lead the table on 13 points from five games, two ahead of Lille, with Saint Etienne third on 10. Marseille are in sixth spot with eight points and Metz are 16th on four.