Full Time: Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla
Real Madrid continued to be hot on the tails of leaders Barcelona in the La Liga title race when they thrashed Sevilla 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Madrid hit the ground running and took the lead as early as the tenth minute through a smart free-kick from defender Nacho. Cristiano Ronaldo then made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute from a rebound after James Rodriguez’s shot was saved by Sergio Rico.
Sevilla managed to halve the deficit early in the second period through striker Stevan Jovetic, but Zinedine Zidane’s side put the game to bed when Ronaldo scored his second of the day with a spectacular effort in the 78th minute. Toni Kroos compounded the misery on Jorge Sampaoli’s men when he made it 4-1 in the 85th minute.
The win sees Madrid stay in touch with Barcelona who won their game on the day to stay at the top of the standings. Zinedine Zidane’s men have the advantage though, as they still have a game in hand and need just four points from the two games to clinch the title. Here is how the Madrid players fared on the evening:
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Keylor Navas – 7.5/10
Made a string of impressive stops to keep Sevilla out in the first period. Could not do much about Jovetic’s strike.
Danilo – 5.5/10
Sevilla’s most attacks originated on his side. Allowed Jovetic a lot of space, let Vitolo free in the build up to the goal. Booked.
Raphael Varane – 7.5/10
Did not misplace a single pass or a single tackle throughout the game. Was caught out once or twice by Jovetic and Correa, but remained extremely solid.
Sergio Ramos – 7.5/10
Dominant force in the air, equally strong on the ground. A threat in the opposition box as well. A captain’s display.
Nacho – 8/10
Opened the scoring with a smart low free-kick catching the defence unawares. His crosses into the box were top notch as well. Grabbed the assist for Kroos’ fourth. Marcelo wasn’t missed at all. Booked and will miss the next match.
Mateo Kovacic – 7/10
A combative performance in the defensive midfield role. Went toe to toe with a packed Sevilla midfield and battled well. Has done well each time he has been called upon this season.
Toni Kroos – 8/10
Rarely missed a beat in midfield. His passing was surgically precise as usual, always took up the right positions. Set Ronaldo up for the third, before scoring one himself with a fine finish.
James Rodriguez – 6/10
His shot was parried by Sergio Rico leading to the second goal. Anonymous apart from that. Came off to a great ovation and it seemed like he was bidding his goodbye to the Bernabeu crowd.
Marco Asensio – 8/10
He is a special talent for sure. His close control of the ball is brilliant. Always a menace on the flanks. Played a crucial role in the build up to the second and the third goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5/10
Scored his 400th club goal for Real Madrid with the simplest of tap ins, before displaying great technical ability to bury the all important third goal.
Alvaro Morata – 5.5/10
Ran hard but could not find a way through. Far from his best. Booked.
Casemiro – 7/10
Replaced James on the hour mark. Sevilla’s attacking ventures were subdued after he came on.
Lucas Vazquez – 6/10
Came on for Morata in the 61st minute. Lively but booked for a foul.
Luka Modric – 7/10
Brought on in place of Kovacic for the last 20 minutes. Did what he does best.