Seville, Spain, Aug 28 (EFE).- Dani Carvajal celebrated his return from injury by leading Real Madrid 1-0 over Real Betis here Saturday.
With 7 points from three matches, the Blancos are level with Sevilla, Valencia and Mallorca, but they sit atop LaLiga on goals pending reigning champions Atletico Madrid’s contest Sunday with Villarreal.
Winless Betis are 14th with 2 points.
Getting Carvajal back made it easier for coach Carlo Ancelotti to cobble together a starting 11 as Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Dani Ceballos remain out of commission.
There was also an adjustment not dictated by injury, as the Italian opted to reward Vinicius Jr. for the three goals he scored as a sub in the first two matches by giving him the start instead of Eden Hazard.
The hosts largely held Real Madrid at bay in the first half and would finish the match with more than half of the possession and twice as many shots on target.
Karim Benzema drew a save from Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva early in the second half off a combination with Gareth Bale minutes before beating the Portugal international only to see the goal disallowed for an offside.
The breakthrough came in the 61 minute, when Carvajal sent a volley past Silva with an assist from Benzema.
Late sub Marco Asensio fired wide on a chance to seal the victory and Blancos keeper Thibaut Courtois had to make a stop against Martin Montoya on the final play to guarantee all 3 points and secure Real Madrid’s first clean sheet of the campaign. EFE agr/dr