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Real Madrid Held To A 2-2 Draw By Sevilla Leaving La Liga Title Race Open

Real Madrid miss their chance to go to the top of the La Liga table as they are held by Sevilla

The Game

Real Madrid vs Sevilla produced an exciting, enthralling, and certainly dramatic tie between two rivals as both refused to be beaten and instead settled for a draw.  A victory for Los Blancos would have taken them to the top of the table ahead of their Madrid rivals but it was not to be. The race for the La Liga title continues to heat up with Atletico Madrid leading as they maintain a 2 point lead at the top of the table ahead of Barcelona (with whom they played out a goalless draw) and Real Madrid who today, failed to capitalize on that result as a Toni Kroos strike/Eden Hazard deflection spared their blushes. Diego Simeone and his Atletico side are chasing their first league title since the 2013/2014 season and with 3 games to go, they will have to avoid any slip-ups or risk giving the title to the covetous Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Julen Lopetegui, watching from the stands, knows that his Sevilla side will not be crowned La Liga champions but they could decide it.

First Half

Real Madrid controlled early proceedings with pressure and they made it pay or so they thought. The dangerous Vinicius Jr was probing and prodding. Alvaro Odriozola showed good technique by providing a beautifully lofted cross into the path of Karim Benzema who headed it into the left post. The Frenchman was denied his goal by VAR for a correct offside call. 10 minutes after, Sevilla would celebrate the opening goal as Ivan Rakitic (who has certainly made his mark on his return to Los Palanganas with 11G/A in 46 apps) headed down a cross and Fernando did brilliantly to get to the ball and fire it home. 0-1. It became end-to-end stuff. Karim Benzema forced Bono into a save on 31. The game flew by breathlessly but Sevilla held on to their lead until halftime. 0-1.

Second Half

Early in the second half and there was a shout for handball by the Madrid players. The referee, having already waved play on was called back to the incident and still, he deemed no penalty. Luka Modric lashed one with his left foot but Bono saved his effort. Vinicius Jnr struck the post from close range when he should have scored after a fine pass from Kroos but then Real found their way back. Shortly after the miss, Marco Asensio would draw Madrid level as he latched on to a pass from midfield maestro Toni Kroos and slotted home. The Spaniard had only been on the pitch for about a minute before his goal. Real Madrid 1-1 Sevilla, Game on. 

Then there was the most contentious moment of the game. Both teams were denied a penalty in the space of two minutes. Sevilla first then Real Madrid next. However, after reviewing the first incident the referee gave Sevilla a penalty and a chance to take the lead from the spot. Ivan Rakitic made no mistake. Make that 13G/A this season for the Croat who has certainly made his mark on his return to Los Palanganas.

Real Madrid were left red-faced and back to square one and had to find a way to salvage a draw. Call it luck but in this game, you make your luck. Karim Benzema has been an integral part of Real Madrid’s title chase this season registering a fantastic 36G/A in 42 appearances and the French man showed no signs of slowing down as he set up Toni Kroos who drove to the edge of the box and got his shot away, took a wicked deflection off a Hazard flick and in it went. 2-2. 

Casemiro almost made it 3-2 with the last shot of the game but it crept wide. Sevilla left heartbroken. Real Madrid are still alive in the title race as this one finished Real Madrid 2-2 Sevilla.


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