Real Madrid were reminded of their early season shortcomings as they fell to a 3-2 loss to Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Wednesday
The visitors were slow off the blocks as Sevilla controlled the proceedings in the early stages. The hosts were rightly rewarded for their domination with the opener as Luis Muriel headed Nico Pareja’s long ball towards Wissam Ben Yedder, who made no error in scoring past Kiko Casilla.
Joaquin Caparros’s men then doubled their advantage at the stroke of half-time as Steven N’Zonzi laid the ball for Miguel Layun after his initial effort had been blocked. Real Madrid had the chance to pull one back early into the second half, after Lucas Vazquez was brought down in the Sevilla box by Franco Vazquez, only to see Sergio Ramos miss the penalty.
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Ramos’s misery deepened later as he turned Gabriel Mercado’s ball into his own net, and he could only grab a late consolation goal, as did Borja Mayoral. With the result, Sevilla are back in contention to qualify for the Europa League, while Real Madrid have very little chance to finish second.
Kiko Casilla: 6/10
Making a rare start in goal, Casilla couldn’t have picked a tougher night, with the defence in front of him giving away chances aplenty. The Spaniard did make a couple of good saves to keep the scoreline a little respectable, but was largely powerless to stop the other three efforts.
Nacho was Real Madrid’s best defender on the night, but that is only because the rest of them played like rookies. The Spain international wasn’t too great either though, as he showed the after effects of his recent injury, still looking off pace. Perhaps, young Achraf Hakimi could have used the game as a good learning experience.
Jesus Vallejo: 4/10
Time and again, Jesus Vallejo has flattered to deceive at the heart of the Real Madrid defence whenever handed an opportunity. This was another such outing, with the youngster proving himself to be unable to be an able deputy to Raphael Varane. Sloppy and wasteful on the ball, nervy off it, he still has a long way to go.
Sergio Ramos: 4/10
A nightmarish return to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium for Ramos. The Real Madrid captain cut an unreliable figure at the back, caught out of position on a number of occasions. He was overpowered by Ben Yedder for the opener, with a missed penalty and an own goal only further piling on the misery.
Sergio Ramos did a bit of everything last night pic.twitter.com/XcYCv4oK1B
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Ramos was second time lucky with his spot kick, but that was too late in the game for the visitors to have any hopes of mounting a comeback. Salah & co. will be licking their lips after watching this.
Theo Hernandez: 3/10
Another player who received a rare start on Wednesday, but failed to make the most of it. Marcelo is no accomplished defender to its truest sense, but Theo made the Brazilian look like one of the best in the trade on the night with his display, losing the battle to Gabriel Mercado very meekly for the third goal. Arguably the worst performance of his short Real Madrid career.
Mateo Kovacic: 5/10
Kovacic is one of those players who have recently made a case for more regular inclusion, but he too, was poor on Wednesday. The Croat did absolutely nothing of note with the ball at his feet, failing to drive Real Madrid forward. Helped out a lot in defence, but that came to nothing in the end.
Casemiro wasn’t bad per se, but he didn’t do anything to reverse the flow of the game and set Real Madrid on course for victory. Reasonably solid for large parts of the game, he was also tidy on the ball and came close to scoring in the second half. A night to forget, nevertheless.
Dani Ceballos: 4/10
Ceballos has surely been left frustrated at the lack of opportunities coming his way, but he offered nothing to show why he should be handed more minutes on a regular basis. Ineffective with the ball, the youngster didn’t create much, if at all. Showed his frustration when taken off.
Lucas Vazquez: 4/10
Vazquez has been an asset to Zidane this season, but will want to forget this outing soon. Sloppy on the ball with his passes and dribbles for large parts, the Spaniard just couldn’t get going bar a few rare moments, one which saw him win a penalty. Sevilla’s disciplined game left him frustrated.
Karim Benzema: 4/10
After a couple of top notch performances, it was back to the form that Benzema has showed for most of the season. The Frenchman didn’t have a single shot on target and never looked like scoring on the night. He did work hard on the ball, but that was just about the only positive thing there is to say for his performance, with Sevilla stifling him greatly.
Marco Asensio: 6/10
Perhaps, the only Real Madrid starter who can hold his head up high after Wednesday night. The young Spaniard never stopped trying, looking to create opportunities, often also dropping deep to initiate quick transitions. But, his end product left a lot to be desired, bar the late assist he provided to Borja Mayoral.
Borja Mayoral: 7/10
A bundle of energy ever since he came on the pitch, Borja gave Zidane something to think about. He took an expertly timed header to score his late consolation goal, and could be in line for at least one more outing before the season ends.