Real Madrid 4 - 1 Sevilla (Spanish League, Day 23)

Real Madrid did not give Sevilla a chance and midway through the first half the match had already been decided. The Whites sealed the win thanks to a great performance from Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick, drew level with Gento as the club’s all-time sixth highest scorer and came off of the field to an ovation in the 63rd minute. Benzema opened the scoring in the 17th minute and the Portuguese, widened the gap seven minutes later, following a wonderful step-over and with an unstoppable left-footed shot. In the second half, and inside just 13 minutes, the Portuguese put the match to bed with two more goals. For the last, he started the counter-attack, driving forward with the ball for 50 metres and then putting the ball into the back of the net from a pass from Higuain, who was later sent off for a second yellow card. Pepe’s first appearance of 2013 was another of the match’s positive pieces of news. A rout and a morale booster four days prior to the Champions League match against Manchester United.

Cristiano Ronaldo happy with his hat-trick against Sevilla in the Bernabeu Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo led the team against Sevilla

Real Madrid and Sevilla, two of the four cup semi-finalists, faced one another at the Bernabeu four days before the match against Manchester United. The Whites, who before the start of the match had strung together 32 matches unbeaten in their own stadium, came into the contest ready to add another win and extend their streak, the best in Europe. Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2nd minute free-kick and the sense of superiority on the pitch was testament to that ambition. Kaka was the next to have an opportunity to open the scoring but his powerful effort towards the bottom corner in the tenth minute was forced wide by Beto’s fists. The Brazilian was also instrumental in the next dangerous attack. His precision ball to Ronaldo from a counter-attack meant that the Andalusian team’s goalkeeper once again had to intervene against his international teammate in the 14th minute. In the first quarter of an hour, the Whites had already had three chances and Sevilla had not had a single shot on goal.

All indications were that the goal would not be long in coming. And it wasn’t. Modric’s measured pass to Higuain from the halfway line lead to the Argentine playing the ball to Ronaldo with a first touch pass, before the Portuguese crossed the ball into the box with his left. The ball, after going over Beto, hit Fernando Navarro, who tried to stop Benzema’s shot but the Frenchman found himself with nobody in front of him and was able to roll the ball over the line from a just few inches at his pleasure and put his team ahead in the 17th minute. It was the best introduction for the best moment of the match, a Ronaldo wonder goal. The Portuguese received the ball on the edge of the area, masterfully dribbled the ball past Maduro with a nice step-over and hit the ball with the left foot in the 24th minute with incredible power and placement. It was unstoppable for Beto. It was no wonder that, midway through the first half, the Bernabeu gave their team and the Portuguese footballer an ovation following the goal.

Sevilla, far from accepting defeat, pushed their lines forward and could have closed the gap on the scoreboard had it not been for an important Diego Lopez save from a Reyes shot from near the penalty spot in the 32nd minute. The last chance in the first half fell to the home team. A Ronaldo free-kick surprised Beto, who pushed the ball wide. Kaka took the resulting corner in the 43rd minute and Ramos' header forced a reflex save from the visiting goalkeeper.

The second half could not have started better. The first minute of play had not been completed when a poor Beto clearance and a Fazio mistake was leapt on by Cristiano Ronaldo, who shot into the far corner with his left foot. 3-0. The Whites were on the right track to getting the result that they wanted, but the Portuguese’s exhibition was not over. Twelve minutes after beating his compatriot for the second time, he started a brilliant counterattack with a 50 metre run before he gave the ball to Higuain and continued his run to powerfully put the Argentine’s cross into the back of the net. A hat-trick for the Portuguese, who drew level with Gento as Real Madrid’s all-time sixth highest scorer. Morata replaced him in the 63rd minute as he was given a thunderous ovation by the Bernabeu faithful.

Real Madrid began to play at their pleasure, but in the 67th minute Higuain received his second yellow for tripping Fernando Navarro. Mourinho reacted by making the last two substitutions. Callejon and Pepe, who made his first appearance of the year, replaced Benzema and Kaka, who had a good match. Maduro’s sending off for a second yellow also reduced Sevilla to ten, before they reduced the deficit in the 87th minute with a shot from Manu del Moral. A rout and a morale booster four days prior to the Champions League match against Manchester United.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 65,000
Goals: 1-0, m.17: Benzema; 2-0, m.28: Ronaldo; 3-0, m.46: Ronaldo; 4-0, m.59: Ronaldo; 4-1, m.87: Manu del Moral.

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