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The Fede Express delivered on time again with eight minutes left to send an unstoppable shot past Sevilla keeper Bono and finally kill-off defiant Sevilla. He hobbled off at the end after a clash with Papu Gomez,
They were showing off the family treasure before kick-off with Thibaut Courtois handed his recently-won Yashin trophy by Iker Casillas,
and Zinedine Zidane also out in the driving rain to hand Karim Benzema his Ballon d’Or.
Benzema followed Zidane and Casillas back under cover to watch the game
– a muscle problem meant the forward was not risked.
Madrid were ahead on five minutes when the electric Vinicius
broke down the left and into the area before sliding a pass through a crowded six-yard box to Luka Modric who scored from close range.
Ferenc Puskas once scored for Madrid aged 38 years and 233 days,
and Alfredo di Stefano managed it at 37 years and 255 days – Modric had become the club’s third oldest scorer just 43 days after his 37th birthday.
Madrid were in control for the rest of the first half with Sevilla not really causing Courtois any problems but things changed after the break.
On 55 minutes Sevilla were level and it was two touches with the outside of the foot
that brought the goal. First Gonzalo Montiel played an outside of the foot pass that split the Madrid defence and Eric Lamela ran on to it and,
from the tightest of angles,
and with the outside of his left foot, sent his shot past Courto is.
Isco volleyed into the side netting after Jesus Navas crossed from the right as Sevilla
looked to build on their equalizer. Lamela then curled a shot wide. Madrid were rocking back on their heels having been in control.
The problem with trying to beat Madrid is that you beat the team on the pitch and then you have to beat the bench. On 77 minutes Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez
came on for Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal and two minutes later they combined to score.
Vinicius’ unselfishness was key too. Asensio played the pass through to the Brazilian and he could have finished himself
but instead he squared the ball to Lucas who scored to make it 2-1.
And a further two minutes later it was over as a contest as Valverde let fly leaving Bono in the Sevilla goal without a prayer.
Madrid had been shaken,
and they were stirred into action – finding another gear to take all three points and extend their lead at the top. The only dark cloud for Madrid – apart from those that had soaked the pitch before kick-off – was the sight of hobbling on the final whistle
– he is the last man they, and Uruguay, need to lose right now.
Real Madrid doing Real Madrid things. Sevilla were lucky to get away with giving up possession in their own half so many times in the first 45 minutes. The hosts’ pressing was really causing them issues and Modric’s opening goal was inevitable.
Did many see Lamela’s equaliser coming? Probably not. The Real Madrid defence certainly didn’t and he was left all alone to run through and square. That changed the complexion of the game for 15-20 minutes or so,
with Sevilla gaining the upper hand and threatening the home goal on a few occasions.
But familiar failings tripped them up in the final quarter of an hour. They lost possession high up the pitch and, within a few seconds,
Madrid had the ball in the net via Vázquez. A lightning counterattack. Valverde’s superb drive from distance two minutes later killed the game off with around 10 to go.