From having three vital points in the bag, to leaving empty handed and defeated at home in the league, something that hasn't happened since May 3rd 2021. A real blow for Sevilla FC in Easter Sunday's big game at the Sánchez-Pizjuán against Real Madrid who would spark a comeback after Sevilla built a healthy two-goal advantage thanks to strikes from Rakitic and Lamela. In the midst of the Sevilla domination, it seemed as though Camavinga was destined to receive a second yellow but the referee went against taking said decision and the player stayed on the pitch. From there, the game was flipped on its head. Although Sevilla got to halftime without conceding, things started to turn sour when Ancelotti's players claimed the win through strikes from Rodrygo, Nacho and Benzema, thus, tightening the battle for the top four places even more.
Sevilla came out the blocks applying heavy pressure on Courtois' goal. Navas put in his first cross of the day which Martial was centimetres away from latching on to. Ancelotti's Madrid managed to weave themselves into the Sevilla half, but they were met by a solid Sevilla defence near the edge of the area who would prevent the visitors netting a goal. With his back to goal, Martial gave Madrid a further warning when he picked up the ball from Jordán, swivelled, lost his marker and sent a shot fizzing past the post of the Madrid goal. Sevilla got the crowd going with their quick transitions and one of them, midway through the first half, led to a dangerous free-kick from the edge of the area that Rakitic kept for himself. The Croatian hit it sweetly and it landed in the back of the net, impossible for Courtois to reach and prevent Sevilla going one nil to the good.
A Rakitic free-kick opened the scoring
However, Lopetegui's boys wanted to take advantage of the good momentum and went for more. Said ambition got its reward with Sevilla's second goal. The always incisive Acuña found Tecatito from the left who picked up the ball in the area closely pursed by his marker and confronted by the oncoming keeper. Despite the pressure coming from all angles, Tecatito drew the ball away from the defenders for it to land at the feet of Erik Lamela to slot home the second (2-0). The maximum reward for the team against a leader who were unable to contain LaLiga's best home side. With ten minutes until the break, the only thing Benzema could do was to take advantage of a rebound from the edge of the area to hit it with his instep, only to be met by a well-placed Bono. From there, almost with a second to breath, the most inexplicable part of the night came. A long ball came to Martial who took the ball past the halfway line and towards the Courtois' goal. Camavinga obstructed Martial, but Cuadra Fernández believed that it wasn't worthy of a booking. Without the evident yellow card being branded to the centre-mid, the yellow was given to Martial for is protests, who, to make matters worse, left injured giving his place to Rafa Mir. Seeing is believing.
The match and, logically, the crowd, became more heated in the final minutes of the half, when Benzema again came up against Sevilla's backline in an action that was eventually disallowed. Furthermore, aware of the 'extra life' that had been given to his player, Ancelotti took Camavinga off at halftime for Rodrygo. Lopetegui introduced Óliver into proceedings in place of Papu Gómez. Unfortunately, the match carried on in the same way the first half had ended and Bono once again denied Benzema, but the Moroccan couldn't do anything about Rodrygo's accurate shot from Carvajal's cross. Lopetegui made more changes with Augustinsson and Gudelj coming on to settle things and find some breathing space. For a few minutes, this seemed to have worked a trick as Óliver's brilliance down the left created a chance for Rafa Mir whose header found the palms of Courtois. Before this, Militão tried his luck from distance and Benzema sent a shot fizzing past the post.
The team felt the strain in the second half and Madrid took advantage
Sevilla were running out of energy and Madrid found themselves with motivation to turn the tie around and decide the league's fate. Vinicius equalised, but in the numerous reviews VAR offered, Cuadra Fernandez found no reason to overturn his decision to disallow the Brazilian's handball. Unfortunately, eight minutes later it was made 2-2 after Nacho's finish. From there on, Sevilla could only attack in isolated, desperate counters and couldn't contain their opponents. To make matters worse, the victory was concealed in the second minute of added on time through Benzema. A tough blow for Sevilla who were close to the three points and left empty handed at home for the first time in this LaLiga.
It was a bad day in numerical terms, as the chasing pack in the fight for the Champions League are a point behind with six games left. Now it's time to travel to Valencia to visit a reborn Levante this Thursday after they defeated Granada this past Sunday.
2. SEVILLA FC: Bono, Jesús Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña (Augustinsson, minute 62), Joan Jordán, Rakitic, Papu Gómez (Óliver Torres, minute 46), Lamela (Ocampos, minute 72), Tecatito (Gudelj, minute 62) and Martial (Rafa Mir, minute 41).
3. REAL MADRID: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Lucas Vázquez (Nacho, minute 81), Kroos, Camavinga (Rodrygo, minute 46), Modric (Asensio, minute 81), Valverde, Vinicius Jr. and Benzema (Mariano, minute 90+5).
GOALS: 1-0, minute 21: Rakitic; 2-0, minute 25: Lamela; 2-1, minute 50: Rodrygo; 2-2, minute 83: Nacho; 2-3, minute 90+2: Benzema.
REFEREE: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández gave yellows to Camavinga, Nacho, Kroos, Mariano, Martial, Diego Carlos and Óliver Torres.