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Sevilla’s first-half display was bettered by Real Madrid’s second-half heroics, as ‘Los Blancos’ rose from the dead to hand the ‘Nervionenses’ their first defeat at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán this La Liga season, ending a run of 15 unbeaten home matches.

As the side boasting the division’s best defensive record welcomed the league’s most prolific scorers, one could only hope for an enthralling clash between the Spanish titans. Manchester United loanee Anthony Martial saw the first opening of the evening, swinging a shot from the edge of the box in the 10th minute, only to see it go narrowly wide.

The Andalusian hosts didn’t have to wait long to make an impact, thanks to a stunning quickfire brace midway through the half. Croat ace Ivan Rakitić first struck a sublime through-the-wall free-kick into the bottom left corner, before Erik Lamela knocked in a low drive after the visitors capitulated to a defensive mishap after a counterattack. A rather uncharacteristic first period saw Real Madrid head into the break with frowns on their face, as the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán applauded its beloved ‘Nervionenses’ for a spirited display.

Sevilla invited Carlo Ancelotti’s men back into the fray almost immediately after the restart. Less than five minutes into his substitute appearance, Brazilian talent Rodrygo smashed an unstoppable first-time effort into the roof of the net from close range after some clever play on the left flank. Pushing for the leveler, Éder Militão then struck an absolute belter of a long-ranger, but was exquisitely kept out by host shot-stopper Bono. The 65th minute saw Karim Benzema shoot narrowly wide of Bono’s left post, much to the relief of the Sevilla faithful, as the visitors closed in for their second.

The final quarter-hour began with pure drama as an unfortunate decision by the VAR denied Vinicius Júnior an almost-obvious goal after it was called off for a handball, sending the visitors’ bench berserk regarding the decision. However, just a few minutes later, substitute Nacho Fernández delivered some respite for the visitors by driving in a low shot with his first touch of the match, making up for Vinicius’ earlier disappointment.

As the FT whistle approached, ‘Los Blancos’ upped the ante by scoring the winner right at the death, thanks to Champions League hero Karim Benzema coming to the rescue of the visitors once again, as he latched onto Rodrygo’s inch-perfect pass to blast the winner and take all three points to Madrid. The visitors are now unbeaten in five straight away league matches with the win against Sevilla, who suffered just their second league defeat since November last year.

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