Real Madrid secured an all-important 3-2 victory against Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday after an impressive second-half comeback. The two La Liga contenders faced off on April 17 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Madrid came into the game on the back of four wins in their last five league games. Before kick-off, they were 12 points clear at the top of the table. The home side came into this tie with three draws, one win and one loss in their last five in the league. Any sort of result would help them create a gap between themselves and Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, with all three on 60 points.
The visitors started as the stronger of the two teams. Eduardo Camavinga, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema looked sharp right from kick-off. Sevilla fought back with Papu Gomez leading their charge into Real Madrid's box. Soon after, Anthony Martial saw a shot narrowly miss the target after doing well to shrug his markers off.
Real Madrid continued to progress the ball into the final third but Sevilla broke their attacks down easily. They had a chance of their own after being awarded a free-kick just outside the box. Ivan Rakitic stepped up and scored with a cheeky effort through the Los Blancos wall to make it 1-0 in the 21st minute. They kept their feet on the pedal and scored another soon after. Jesus Corona played the ball to Erik Lamela, who finished with ease to make it 2-0 at the 25-minute mark.
Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez struggled at the back for the visitors, with both being dragged out of position. Militao made some body positioning errors that directly led to both of Sevilla's goals. Sevilla enjoyed a spell of dominance until around the 35th minute when Real Madrid started fighting back. Martial's injury break near the 40-minute mark helped the momentum shift.
However, their efforts were in vain as the hosts went into the half-time break with a 2-0 lead.
Real Madrid started the second half strong, with Modric releasing Benzema through on goal only for him to take a tame shot. Soon after, Vinicius Jr. made a marauding run into the hosts' box before passing the ball to Carvajal. The Spaniard squared the ball for Rodrygo to finish sharply to bring Los Blancos back into the game at 2-1.
Both sides continued to exchange spells of dominance and attacking football, but neither side was able to score.
Vinicius seemed to have brought Real Madrid on level terms in minute 76 with a well-taken shot following a brilliant run. However, upon VAR review, the goal was disallowed for a harsh handball.
Sevilla piled on the pressure and continued to threaten the visitors' goal. However, they were stunned after substitute Nacho scored with his first touch of the game to make it 2-2 in the 82nd minute.
Both Sevilla and Real Madrid continued to play some beautiful football with swift passing and movement. Benzema began to take on more and more initiative as he dropped deeper into midfield to start moves. On one such occasion, he combined with Vinicius and Rodrygo, who did well to cut the ball back to the Frenchman. He made it 3-2 with a patiently taken effort two minutes into stoppage time.
Real Madrid held on to win the game 3-2 after a brilliant comeback in the second-half to take all three points.
With that said, let's take a look at Los Blancos' player ratings from tonight's contest.
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois - 5.5/10
Courtois looked nervous in goal from the start and wasn't helped by his error-prone defenders. He nearly gave away a penalty in the build-up to Sevilla's goal but conceded anyway to make matters worse.
Dani Carvajal - 7.5/10
Carvajal started the game in an unnatural left-back position, clearly the tougher of the two wide defensive assignments of the night. However, he did well and provided an assist for substitute Rodrygo to make it 2-1 shortly after the restart. He provided another assist for another substitute in Nacho to make it 2-2 with his first touch of the night. He had a passing accuracy of 92% on the night.
Eder Militao - 5.5/10
He could have done better in the wall for Rakitic's free-kick goal as he seemed to jump away from the shot. He looked frustrated and out of sorts as he struggled to find composure.
David Alaba - 6/10
Alaba struggled to contain Lamela, Martial and Gomez as Sevilla ran riot in the first half. However, he won all three of his duels and passed the ball with 87% accuracy.
Lucas Vazquez - 5.5/10
The Spaniard had a tough game as he started at right back. He was sometimes caught off-guard as he was unsure whether to press or track his runner. He was taken off in the 81st minute after which Real Madrid scored two goals.
Luka Modric - 7/10
The Croatian midfielder started sharply, dictating the pace of play for Real Madrid. He played some creative passes to help his side advance the ball. He played six accurate long balls in seven attempts and won three of his seven duels.
Eduardo Camavinga - 6.5/10
Camavinga started the game with the confidence required to stand-in for Casemiro. He put in a decent performance before being subbed off at half-time. He also picked up a booking.
Toni Kroos - 7.5/10
The German made a balanced start to the game, combining well with his fellow midfielders. Kroos passed the ball with 95% accuracy, played five long balls from six attempts and also won five of his seven duels.
Federico Valverde - 7/10
Valverde did well to cover the ground in midfield and appeared in key areas to help Real Madrid progress the ball. He won five of his eight duels and played three accurate long balls.
Vinicius Jr. - 6.5/10
The quick-footed Brazilian made a strong start and made a few runs into Sevilla's box. However, after the hosts went 2-0 up, Real Madrid's lack of confidence reflected in him as his output reduced. However, he bounced back in style, creating a chance for his side to make it 2-1.
Karim Benzema - 8/10
The Frenchman dropped deep into pockets to receive the ball and allow his teammates to make darting runs forward. He came close to scoring soon after the restart. He took the extra initiative late in the game, dropping deep to start the move that he finished by scoring the winner for Real Madrid. He had three shots on target out of seven attempts.
Rodrygo - 7.5/10
The Brazilian came on at the restart and scored just a minute after stepping onto the pitch to bring his side back into the game at 2-1. He passed the ball with 92% accuracy and also won three of his six duels. Rodrygo also provided the assist for Benzema's winner.
Nacho Fernandez - 7/10
The Spaniard scored to make it 2-2 with his first touch of the game with a well-taken finish. The scenario leading up to the goal showed that he only had a 8% chance of scoring through the crowd.
Marco Asensio & Mariano Diaz - 6/10
They both came on late in the game and put in limited contributions. Diaz, however, was successful in time-wasting to see out the result but was booked.