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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sevilla 3-2 Real Madrid: Benitez's men lose ground on Barcelona

Sevilla inflicted a surprise 3-2 defeat on Real Madrid on Sunday night to leave Barcelona three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Sergio Ramos opened the scoring for Rafa Benitez's men but was later forced off with an injury, and four minutes after his withdrawal Ciro Immobile grabbed an equaliser.
Second-half goals from Ever Banega and Fernando Llorente sealed an important victory for Unai Emery's team, who have endured a mixed start to the campaign, and ensured James Rodriguez's late strike was a mere consolation.
Real Madrid face Barcelona next on November 21 following the international break.
Karim Benzema was absent from the visitors' squad after being charged with conspiracy to blackmail his France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, but Gareth Bale returned after a calf injury.
Amid early Madrid pressure, Cristiano Ronaldo saw an effort blocked by Mariano before Nacho rattled the woodwork with a shot from outside the area.
As Sevilla sat deep, Benitez's team got their breakthrough courtesy of a sublime Ramos finish midway through the half.
Against his former club, the centre-back produced a stunning bicycle kick to beat Sergio Rico but in doing do appeared to hurt his left shoulder.
Sevilla responded well, with Ramos denying Immobile a clear-cut chance before the Madrid defender was replaced by Raphael Varane.
Four minutes after Ramos' departure, Immobile opened his Sevilla account with an expert finish from a tight angle following a deep corner not dealt with by the Madrid defence.
The Borussia Dortmund loanee's first goal since March sent Sevilla in level at half-time, although the Italian came close to a second before the break when he prodded Benoit Tremoulinas' cross wide.
Both sides had chances in an open start to the second half, with Yevhen Konoplyanka threatening for the hosts and Toni Kroos sending an effort wide for Madrid.
Ronaldo too fired wide but Benitez's side generally looked ponderous in the final third. Sevilla were anything but, and took the lead after a stunning passing move was finished off by Banega.
The Argentine was the beneficiary of a quick one-two between Konoplyanka and Immobile, converting the Ukrainian's cross to complete the turnaround.
James was introduced by Benitez in an attempt to salvage something from the game but Ronaldo's decision to shoot from a tight angle instead of play in Luka Modric somewhat typified Madrid's lacklustre attacking play.
Casemiro's header was brilliantly saved by Rico and substitute Llorente then sealed the points when he headed home unmarked inside the area 16 minutes from time.
James made his case to start when Barca visit for El Clasico with a goal deep into stoppage time, but it mattered little as Madrid remain three points off the leaders.

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