MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 29: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF (R) scores the opening goal past Cala of Sevilla FC during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 29, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid managed to win the most important game left in the season after Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the first half and Karim Benzema closed the game with two more goals in the second. Sevilla enjoyed three very good chances in the first half but failed to convert them.
Real Madrid could officialy win La Liga tonight if Rayo Vallecano manage to beat FC Barcelona in Vallecas, but the most likely scenario will include a Madrid victory in San Mamés next Wednesday, allowing los vikingos to celebrate the title in one of the most beautiful stadiums in the Spanish competition.
José Mourinho decided to start Esteban Granero alongside Xabi Alonso. The rest of the team was the same one that started against Bayern, with Marcelo at left back and Angel Di María, Mesut Özil, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo upfront. The Portuguese star added one goal to his tally, and now leads the Golden Boot ranking by a two-goal margin against Lionel Messi.
The game started well for Real Madrid as Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 19th minute after a good assist by Karim Benzema. The French striker missed some good chances in the first half and looked a little sloppy, but he scored twice in the second half to finally show he is Real Madrid's starting striker for the next season. Neither Higuaín nor Kaka' warmed up with 3-0 on the scoreboard--this might be proof that they are both on their way out of the team, after reports circulated this week that they had met with agents from French side Paris St-Germain.
After Ronaldo's goal Sevilla went on the attack a little bit more. Negredo and Pepe had a good battle and the Spanish striker only managed to dribble past the defender once in the second half. Unlike the center of the pitch, Marcelo's wing was a very comfortable place for Jesús Navas. Sevilla's attacks came from that part of the pitch, but Ramos and Pepe were very solid, and seemed capable of clearing the crosses.
Real Madrid missed some good chances that could've gave them the two-goal margin before halftime arrived. It was important to sentence the game, and Mourinho's players didn't wait long.
Di María crossed the ball in the third minute of the second half and Sevilla's Javi Varas and Coke didn't agree on who had to clear the danger, so Benzema pushed the ball inside to convert Real Madrid's second goal. Four minutes later, the French striker scored the final goal, after Sergio Ramos crossed the ball off a counterattack.
The game was already over, so Mourinho started to move the bench. Callejón and Khedira joined the game for Granero and Di María. The Argentinian player was sloppy once again but still delivered one assist. He hasn't fully recovered from his injury though, so the important thing now should be to have him back at his best for next season.
Raul Albiol came on Xabi Alonso as well, giving the fans more reasons to believe Kaka' and Higuaín will not be on Real Madrid's roster next year. They could have joined the game to enjoy some minutes but Mourinho decided to introduce Albiol instead.
Özil and Benzema finished the game (something Real Madrid fans are not used to), and it ended without many more noticeable things (other than the Bernabéu chanting "Campeones"). It's true that Real Madrid took a very important step today, but work still needs to be completed for the players to celebrate. It could be today or next Wednesday, depending on FC Barcelona.
Who was the Man of the Match?
Cristiano Ronaldo (64 votes)
Karim Benzema (81 votes)
Mesut Özil (65 votes)
Other (4 votes)
214 total votes