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HomeLa LigaAfter referee change: Modric redeems Real against Sevilla

After referee change: Modric redeems Real against Sevilla

In a game that was tough for a long time against Sevilla FC with Sergio Ramos back at the Bernabeu for the first time since his departure, substitute Luka Modric scored Real Madrid to a deserved 1-0 win. The Whites extended their lead at the top to eight points for the time being.

Real Madrid recently stumbled in the small city derby against Rayo Vallecano (1:1) and were lucky that rivals Girona were unable to take advantage of their slip-up. Against Sevilla FC, coach Carlo Ancelotti was without Camavinga (yellow card) and Joselu (ankle injury), but was able to call on Rüdiger, who had recently been out with a thigh injury, and Mendy (after a yellow card suspension). Kroos and Rodrygo also started in place of Fran Garcia and Modric (both bench).

It was a very special game for Sevilla defender and captain Sergio Ramos, who made his first appearance at the Santiago Bernabeu since his transfer in the summer of 2021 – and only the second time in his career. In December 2004, as an 18-year-old, he won with Sevilla FC at Real (1-0) before going on to celebrate countless successes with the Whites between 2005 and 2021. The Blanquirrojos have recently gained some breathing space in the relegation battle and were able to rely on Ocampos again in Madrid, who started for Acuna as the only change after the 0-0 draw in Valencia.

Early Real lead is taken back

Somewhat surprisingly, it was the visitors who had the first big chance of the game: En-Nesyri was unable to direct Isaac’s sharp cross on target from seven meters (8′). However, Sevilla then retreated deep in a 5-3-2 system – and were seemingly quickly punished. Vincius Junior found the advancing Vazquez, who scored to take the lead (10′). However, after a VAR check, referee Isidro Diaz de Mera, who had already been in the spotlight in the run-up to the match due to a video from Real Madrid TV and a complaint from Sevilla FC, awarded Sevilla a free-kick and rescinded the goal. Nacho had previously caught En-Nesyri on the foot.

The decision was justifiable, but the Blancos were not at all satisfied with it – and subsequently with others. Among other things, Real demanded a penalty after Rüdiger was tackled by Badé in the penalty area (20′). Kroos was shown a yellow card after complaining about a very harsh whistle against him (35′) – and Ancelotti was also cautioned (13′).

Although the game was played almost exclusively in Sevilla’s half, Real struggled to find any gaps. Tchouameni’s shot in the penalty area was deflected and ended up on the outside of the net (39′), while Fede Valverde had the first shot on goal from distance shortly before the break (45.+2).

A lot of pace and a referee change after the break

The game picked up a lot of pace after the restart as Sevilla allowed the Whites much more space. Fede Valverde failed to hit the post (49′), Rodrygo flicked over from a central position (55′) – and Vincius Junior also tried, but was equally unsuccessful (55′, 57′). But Real were also very lucky that Lunin made a brilliant save from Isaac with his foot to prevent what could have been a goal back (52′).

A short time later, the game was interrupted – once again it was all about the referee. Isidro Diaz de Mera suffered a calf injury and was replaced by fourth official Carlos Fernandez Buergo (61′).

Although the game was played almost exclusively in Sevilla’s half, Real struggled to find any gaps. Tchouameni’s shot in the penalty area was deflected and ended up on the outside of the net (39′), while Fede Valverde had the first shot on goal from distance shortly before the break (45.+2).

A lot of pace and a referee change after the break

The game picked up pace after the restart as Sevilla allowed the Whites much more space. Fede Valverde failed to hit the post (49′), Rodrygo flicked over from a central position (55′) – and Vincius Junior also tried, but was equally unsuccessful (55′, 57′). But Real were also very lucky that Lunin made a brilliant save from Isaac with his foot to prevent what could have been a goal back (52′).

A short time later, the game was interrupted – once again it was all about the referee. Isidro Diaz de Mera suffered a calf injury and was replaced by fourth official Carlos Fernandez Buergo (61′).

Modric curls in the winner

Real remained clearly superior after the five-minute break, but not quite as compelling – until Modric’s one moment of genius. A half-field cross was cleared by Badé right at the feet of the substitute Croatian, who took the ball past his opponent 18 yards from goal and, with his second touch, curled it to the inside of the right-hand post, from where the ball bounced into the net (81′).

As the visitors were unable to create any real chances in the closing stages, the Blancos held on for a narrow but deserved victory that saw them move eight points clear at the top of the table overnight. Next week, both teams will continue their campaign on Saturday: Sevilla face Real Sociedad in the afternoon (2pm), while Real visit Valencia FC in the evening (9pm).

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