Thursday, April 25, 2024

Luka Modric fires Real Madrid to victory over Sevilla with brilliant late winner

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Feb 2024

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Luka Modric rolled back the years with a stunning late winner for Real Madrid against Sevilla and spoil Sergio Ramos’ return to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 38-year-old Modric – a 75th-minute substitute – had been on the pitch six minutes when he superbly controlled Loic Bade’s tired header and curled home from 20 yards to secure a 1-0 win.

The goal was clouded in controversy, however, as Sevilla felt Antonio Rudiger was offside in the build-up, with replacement referee Carlos Fernandez Buergo adjudging that the German defender was not interfering with play.

Modric’s former team-mate Ramos must have thought he would be part of a Sevilla clean sheet on his return to the club he represented 671 times and won 22 major honours for between 2005 and 2021.

Lucas Vazquez saw his 10th-minute effort disallowed for offside on a largely frustrating night for Real.

But Los Blancos finally found a way through to extend their LaLiga lead over Barcelona to eight points and nine to Girona, who have a game in hand against Rayo Vallecano on Monday.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham was absent for a third successive Real game because of an ankle sprain, while Dani Carvajal and Eduardo Camavinga missed out through suspension.

Sevilla should have been ahead inside eight minutes as Isaac Romero crossed and Youssef En-Nesyri smashed wide from 10 yards.

There was almost instant controversy as Nacho went in to the back of En-Nesyri but play was allowed to continue.

Vinicius Junior found Vazquez with a delightful pass and the former Spain international fired in off a post.

Sevilla players were enraged that the game was not stopped for a foul on En-Nesyri and surrounded referee Isidro Diaz de Mera.

Two minutes elapsed before Diaz de Mera went to the VAR monitor, booking an animated Real manager Carlo Ancelotti on his way, and eventually disallowed the goal.

Sevilla’s organised 5-3-2 shape – with Ramos at the heart of the defence – caused further frustration as Real struggled to make headway.

Brahim Diaz dribbled into the visitors’ penalty area for Aurelien Tchouameni to ripple the side-netting with a deflected attempt.

Fede Valverde forced Sevilla goalkeeper Orjan Nyland to tip over in spectacular fashion and then scuffed against the post just after the break.

The contest began to open up and Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin denied Romero with an outstanding reaction stop.

Real asked most of the second-half questions and Rodrygo shot wide after a fantastic run, while Nyland’s agility kept Vinicius at bay.

There was a refereeing change as Diaz de Mera suffered a calf injury and fourth official Buergo took charge of LaLiga action for the first time.

But the biggest alteration saw Modric strike an absolute beauty off a post and keep Real in command at the top.

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