A first half masterclass from Sevilla was enough to end Real Madrid’s
The home side had the better of the opening exchanges, dominating the ball and reducing Real to counter attacks which fizzled out harmlessly. They would take a well deserved lead after 16 minutes, a misplaced Marcelo pass would set Sevilla off on the break, and a Jesus Navas cutback would find Andre Silva who made no mistake from six yards out.
Silva was at it again just four minutes later, this time it would come from Real’s own corner and yet another counter attack. Jesus Navas was released clean through but saw his shot saved by Thibaut Courtois, but Silva was there to slam home the rebound to give the home side a precious two goal lead. Franco Vazquez would be denied by the bar after 33 minutes, and Real appeared to be on the ropes.
Sevilla would notch yet another before 40 minutes were up, a Wissam Ben Yedder volley flew past Courtois after a ball had been headed back into the box following a corner. Real found themselves three down going into half time, and deservedly so.
Real thought they had given themselves a lifeline just eight minutes into the second half after Luka Modric
Sevilla appeared to have weathered the Real Madrid storm, and in truth Los Blancos never created another clear cut goal scoring opportunity.
Key Talking Point
With a new system in place this season, a home match against Real Madrid was – on paper – a tough test for Sevilla. Many of their starting XI had never featured in a three at the back system before this season.
However it seemed to suit the side to a tee, Sevilla outnumbered Real in midfield and always had an outlet on the wing. Silva and Ben Yedder playing up top together meant that Ramos and Varane were always occupied meaning the club from the South of Spain definitely won the tactical battle.
Starting XI: Vaclik (7); Carrico (7), Kjaer (7), Sergi Gomez (7); Navas (8), Sarabia (8*), Banega (7), Vazquez (7), Arana (6); Silva (8), Ben Yedder (7).
Substitutes: Promes (6), Nolito (N/A), Mesa (N/A).
STAR MAN – Pablo Sarabia
It’s no easy task to play in midfield against the trio of Kroos, Modric and Casemiro, but Sarabia’s cultured left foot ran the show for the Andalusians.
His range of passing, and more importantly his choice of passing, continuously set Sevilla away on the break, and he dominated from the middle of the park.
WORST PLAYER – Guilherme Arana
Impressive in fits, Arana didn’t have a bad game at all, but in a side that played so well, his decision making was what let him down mainly.
Sevilla could’ve had even more had Arana chosen a better pass at times, but he wasn’t disappointing by any stretch of the imagination.
Key Talking Point
Where to start? Madridistas are famously quick to pick fault with their side, but they’ll feel justified in doing so after this shambolic performance. Perhaps most worrying for Los Blancos was the lack of attacking cohesion.
Karim Benzema was invisible for the time he spent on the pitch, and for a supposedly fluid front three, Real looked short of ideas going forward, relying heavily on passes from deep to find Bale making runs in behind.
Starting XI: Courtois (6); Nacho (5), Ramos (5), Varane (5), Marcelo (4); Kroos (5), Casemiro (5), Modric (6*); Asensio (5), Benzema (5), Bale (5).
Substitutes: Lucas Vazquez (5), Mariano (5), Ceballos (N/A).
STAR MAN – Luka Modric
It’s difficult to pick a star man from such an abysmal performance, but Modric was arguably Real’s best player on the pitch.
Although he had a quiet first half, the Croatian was at the heart of Real’s surge for a goal early in the second half, he was unlucky to have a goal disallowed and was surprisingly substituted for Ceballos.
WORST PLAYER – Marcelo
The fact that the Brazilian has been considered the best left back in the world for some time now suggests there is a serious lack of talent in that position. This was Marcelo at his worst, too attack minded and no defensive awareness, he was at fault – directly or indirectly – for each of the goals.
Sevilla took advantage of the space left behind him all night and still he made no effort to to address his defensive issues.
Sevilla will be buoyed by this dominant performance against the Champions League holders, but they face a tough trip to the Basque Country this weekend to face Eibar.
Real have the unenviable task of a Madrid derby against Atletico