Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla: Match review | LaLiga 2018-19
Real Madrid edged out Sevilla 2-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, as they closed the gap to 7 points on leaders Barcelona, temporarily.
The home side came to this fixture level on points with their opponents, only behind on goal difference. Both teams started the match on 33 points.
Real Madrid made 3 alterations from their last league game, as Nacho, Navas, and Fede Valverde were replaced by Courtois, Vazquez, and Dani Ceballos who scored the winner against Betis last weekend.
Courtois was in doubt for this game, as he injured himself in a 2-0 home loss to Real Sociedad a couple of weeks back. With Keylor Navas acquiring an injury against Leganes in the midweek defeat, and with Kiko Casilla's departure to Leeds United, Solari risked him to start between the sticks.
Real Madrid starting XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon, Casemiro, Ceballos, Modric, Vazquez, Benzema, and Vinicius Jr.
Bench: Luca Zidane, Nacho, Marcelo, Fede Valverde, Brahim, Isco, and Cristo Gonzalez.
Visitors Sevilla made 2 changes of their own, after losing last week to relegation-threatened, Athletic Club de Bilbao. Daniel Carrico and Franco Vazquez came into the starting line-up, replacing Gnagnon and Roque Mesa, respectively.
Sevilla starting XI: Vaclik, Jesus Navas, Daniel Carrico, Simon Kjaer, Sergi Gomez, Escudero, Ever Banega, Vazquez, Pablo Sarabia, Ben Yedder, and Andre Silva.
Bench: Salvatierra, Amadou, Mercado, Vidal, Soriano, Promes, and Munir.
After both teams tasted defeat in the mid-week round of Copa del Rey, and progressed on aggregate, the match was expected to be intense.
Both teams started the half with an attack-minded approach. First real chance of the game went to Sevilla captain, Sergio Escudero, who missed the target from close range. The home side was threatening on the break, as Vinicius and Benzema looked likely to break the deadlock.
With rain falling during the whole course of the match, it was very difficult for players to perform in such conditions.
Real Madrid started the game lacking the end product. The home side was all over their opponents, as Sevilla were finding it difficult to get a hold off the ball.
Like last week, Ceballos so nearly gave the home side an advantage, as his shot from 25 yards out struck the edge of the post.
With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, Solari made his first change, as Isco came on for Lucas, who had a poor game and looked the likeliest to come off. Casemiro broke the deadlock in the 78th minute, and that too with almost a 30-yard pile driver, as Vaclik failed to keep the ball out.
Solari made his second and final change in the dying minutes of normal time, as Ceballos was replaced by the Uruguayan, Fede Valverde.
Sevilla were looking to get a late equaliser, but they were not able to hold the ball, and paid the price, as Madrid doubled their advantage with Modric stealing the ball from a defender and finishing emphatically past Tomas Vaclik in the Sevilla goal.
Real Madrid had revenge against their Andalusian opponents who defeated them 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in September. With this victory, Real Madrid trail city rivals Atletico by 5 points, as ATM are in 2nd place.
LaLiga leaders, FC Barcelona, have a game in hand against Leganes on Sunday, having tasted defeat in the reverse fixture back in September. The fixture won't be a tough one for the leaders, especially because the attacking duo of Messi and Suarez are firing on all cylinders.