Real Madrid have been quite criticised during the current season, as they have not been able to live up to expectations. Los Merengues needed a bounce-back performance to show everyone what they are really made of. And that’s exactly what they did this Saturday against Sevilla.
Playing in a packed Santiago Bernabeu venue, Real Madrid dominated the game from start to finish and built a huge lead early on. A quick goal from Nacho put Los Merengues on top, and they would never relinquish their advantage on their way to a huge 5-0 win that showed everyone Real Madrid remain as one of the top teams in La Liga.
Dominant first-half performance From Real Madrid
Los Merengues knew they needed to win to keep themselves alive on the title race, and found themselves on top quickly. A huge mistake from Simon Kjaer allowed Nacho to find the back of the net in the third minute, as the Spain international capitalised on a poorly-defended ball to score the first goal of the game.
One would have thought Sevilla would react after that goal, but they looked helpless during the entire first half. Real Madrid took advantage of that, and added a second goal in the 23rd minute. Marco Asensio delivered a lovely through ball to Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Portuguese star did not waste his chance. CR7 placed the ball coolly past Sergio Rico to make it 2-0. Ronaldo would double his tally in the 31st minute when he converted a penalty kick.
Sevilla were nowhere to be found, and Real Madrid took advantage of that. Toni Kroos scored the fourth goal in the 38th minute following a first-touch pass from Lucas Vazquez, and Achraf Hakimi made it 5-0 in the 42nd minute. It was Hakimi’s first goal as a Real Madrid player, as the 19-year-old defender impressed as a right-back replacing the suspended Dani Carvajal. The Morocco international took advantage of a pass from Karim Benzema, and Hakimi channelled his inner forward to score on a one-on-one situation against Rico.
And just like that, Real Madrid built a 5-0 lead at the half-time break. No one would have saw that coming, but Los Blancos looked absolutely dominant in the first half and the scoreline reflected their supremacy.
A rather ineffectual second half
Fans watching the game would have surely liked to see a reaction from Sevilla in the second half. However, that did not happen. Los Nervionenses looked sluggish throughout the entire game, and failed to pose a major threat to Keylor Navas’ goal. If anything, it always seemed as if Real Madrid were closer to add a sixth goal to their account.
The second half lacked emotions, and we could easily say teams would not have made much of a difference if they had not played it. Real Madrid kept going on cruise control, and simply dominated possession while moving the ball around against a Sevilla side that looked brutally overmatched on both ends of the pitch. In fact, Zinedine Zidane gave the perfect example of this when he subbed off Cristiano Ronaldo. There was no point in risking the team’s biggest star in a game that was already decided.
Madrid could have added a sixth goal when Hakimi tested Rico from inside the box. However, Rico stood pat and kept the door shut. The game ended with an expressive 5-0 win for Madrid, but the scoreline reflected properly just how dominant Madrid were overall.
The final whistle blew after three unneccesary minutes of stoppage time, and the 76,924 fans that went to Santiago Bernabeu cheered Los Blancos with joy. It was one of the best performances from Real Madrid in recent memory, and this game should be quite a confidence booster for the club going forward.
As for Sevilla, to say they weren’t good is a massive understatement. They looked outmatched from start to finish, and there is no question they must improve for the upcoming challenges. The sooner they can leave this game behind, the better.
Real Madrid: Navas (7); Hakimi (8), Jesus Vallejo (6), Nacho (8), Marcelo (7); Lucas Vazquez (7), Kroos (8) (Llorente (5), 63′), Modric (7) (Dani Ceballos (-), 71′), Asensio (8); Benzema (7), Cristiano Ronaldo (8) (Isco (-), 76′)
Sevilla: Sergio Rico (4); Mercado (5), Kjaer (4), Lenglet (5), Carole (4); Banega (5) (Krohn-Dehli (-), 81′), Pizarro (5), Vazquez (5) (Geis (-), 71′); Jesus Navas (5), Muriel (5), Nolito (6) (Pedro Sarabia (6), 57′)
Goals: Nacho (1-0, 3′), Cristiano Ronaldo (2-0, 23′; 3-0, 31′), Kroos (4-0, 38′), Hakimi (5-0, 42′)
Referee: Juan Martinez Munuera
Yellow Cards: Jesus Navas, Banega (SEV)
Red Cards: None
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