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

Ciro Immobile, Ever Banega and Fernando Llorente all scored to overturn Sergio Ramos’ opening goal against his old club and leave Barcelona three points clear at the top of La Liga


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 an effort from outside the area.

As Sevilla sat deep, the visitors got their breakthrough courtesy of a sublime Ramos finish midway through the half.

Against his former club, he produced a stunning bicycle kick to beat Sergio Rico, but in doing do appeared to hurt his left shoulder.

Sevilla responded well, Ramos required to deny 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 visiting 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, Yevhen Konoplyanka threatening for the hosts while Toni Kroos sent an effort wide for Madrid.

Ronaldo too fired wide but Benitez’s side looked ponderous in the final third while Sevilla were anything but as they went ahead through a stunning passing move finished off by Banega.

The Argentine benefitted from a quick one-two involving Konoplyanka and Immobile before converting the former’s cross to complete the turnaround.

Rodriguez 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 well saved by Rico but substitute Llorente sealed the points when he headed home unmarked inside the area 16 minutes from time.

Rodriguez made his case to start when Barca visit for El Clasico after the international break with a goal deep into stoppage time but it mattered little as Madrid remain three points off the leaders.

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11 2015
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