Real Madrid continued their push for the La Liga title with a 4-1 victory over Sevilla on Sunday night
Real could not afford any slip ups against a Sevilla side that was responsible for ending their unbeaten run and breathed new life into the title race back in January, and the hosts had to ride their luck in order to record a 4-1 victory over Jorge Sampaoli’s side on Sunday night.
Nacho opened the scoring with a controversial goal, taking a quick free kick while Sevilla’s players were still gathering themselves and catching goalkeeper Rico completely unawares. Sevilla’s protests were loud and vociferous but ultimately fell on deaf ears, with referee Alberto Mallenco deeming the goal as legitimate.
Cristiano Ronaldo then added a second with an easy tap in from a James Rodriguez rebound to make it 400 goals for Real Madrid, before Stevan Jovetic pulled one back for the visitors with a well-placed finish from outside the box.
However, Madrid’s Portuguese talisman was at it again and scored with a brilliantly taken left-footed shot after the break to restore Madrid’s lead before Toni Kroos guided home Nacho’s ball into the box to wrap things up for Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been heavily criticised this season with many deeming it one of his worst in a Real Madrid jersey and the Portuguese superstar has even been booed by his own fans on several occasions this season.
They will have been regretting their actions on Sunday night, however, as Ronaldo was once again the man to score all-important goals for Real Madrid following his heroics against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Despite not being heavily involved in the play, Ronaldo was there when it mattered and his finish for Real Madrid’s third and his second goal of the night was simply sublime, with the forward smashing a perfectly placed shot into the top left-hand corner of Sevilla’s goal with his weaker foot.
There is no doubt that Ronaldo’s age is slowly catching up to him but the Madrid man has been able to reinvent himself brilliantly and has been a key part of Madrid’s season, despite many feeling that he is past it.
Ronaldo confidence is never affected by detractors, however, and should Real Madrid win the La Liga and Champions League this season – something they have every chance of doing – the Portuguese legend could win a Ballon D’Or and finally shut his critics up once and for all.
— Chu 🤙🏾 (@ChuBoi) May 14, 2017
Nacho’s quick thinking was the sole reason Real Madrid opened the scoring. The Spaniard pulled off a quick free-kick – something we have seen the likes of Thierry Henry do in the past – to catch Sevilla completely by surprise and score an important opener for Real Madrid.
Even besides his controversial role in the opener, Nacho was everywhere for Real Madrid and was one of their best performers on the night. The 27-year old defender has shown his versatility in the past and put in a great performance at left back last night, once again showcasing just how much of an all-rounder he is.
Nacho ended the night with 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 key passes, 2 aerial duels won and 2 tackles won according to WhoScored. That is a performance that even the best left-back in the world would be proud of and Nacho certainly will be.
There’s nothing that Nacho can’t do! One of the most underrated players ever! pic.twitter.com/GMGF9sLegr
— OMAR 👑 (@Omar__cr7_) May 14, 2017
Toni Kroos’ performances for Real Madrid over the last few weeks have flown slightly under the radar in the light of everyone else’s goalscoring exploits but make no mistake, Kroos is a key cog in the fluency of this Real Madrid side.
Last night, Kroos ended the match with a ridiculous 99% pass accuracy, completing 67 of his 68 attempted passes and making 2 key passes in the process. He also scored one goal, made two tackles, had the third-most touches of any player on the pitch with 79 and was the conduit for Real Madrid’s performance as he so often has been recently.
Toni Kroos doesn’t feel any pressure. pic.twitter.com/mDKTXXq8tQ
— Real Madrid Videos (@RMadridVideos) May 15, 2017
Vitolo most definitely had a night to forget against Real Madrid on Sunday night. The Sevilla man did pick up an assist – although that was mostly down to Stevan Jovetic’s clinical finish – but was completely off his game for the most part.
He was dribbled past the most times of any player on the pitch, 4 times, was dispossessed 2 times, attempted 5 tackles and only managed to succeed with 1. The only plus point was his passing, which saw him make an impressive 4 key passes but there is no doubt that Sampaoli would have expected much better from the 27-year old at the back.
Analysis of impact
This was a hugely important result for Real Madrid, who had their unbeaten run ended by Sevilla back in January. Many saw this match as the one that could potentially decide the title going into the weekend and Madrid came out of it unscathed.
They now have only to win their two remaining games and will be brimming with confidence after their recent form. The pressure is still on Los Blancos but they showed last night that they have the mentality to deal with it.