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Four Takeaways From Real Madrid's 2-1 Victory Over Sevilla

Return to form?
Return to form?
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

1. Madrid can mix it. - In a game that was just as ugly as any match Real Madrid have had with Atlético this season, it's safe to say that the men in white didn't allow physical aggression and gamesmanship affect them and still managed to enforce their superior football in the match. Previously, there had been suggestions that Los Blancos didn't have the necessary mettle to withstand opposing teams that tried top rough them out of the game. I believe that this result proved otherwise. Sevilla were lucky not to have been down to 10 or 9 men. On another day, a more competent referee would have issued a couple of red cards. Despite this, Real Madrid still battled away and proved that they will not be intimated or scared away from a confrontation, resulting in them picking up the 3 points.

2. Finally, as predicted, injuries have forced Carlo to rotate. - Many fans, pundits and journalists alike have been saying for weeks nay months now that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti had to rotate more often than he does in order to combat fatigue and to help prevent injuries occurring. The Italian seemingly thought it was worth the risk of playing roughly the same starting XI for the vast majority of this season and now at the beginning of February more injuries are cropping up. Against Sevilla, both Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez left the field due to physical ailments within the first third of the game. Not only are the injuries worrying because they're important players, but coming so early in the game they left Ancelotti with only one substitution which meant that the players on the pitch were probably even more tired come the end of the game. With Luka Modric and Pepe also both still out to injury, this creates problems for Madrid.

3. Marcelo is returning to his brilliant best. - Whilst there were probably more exceptional performers throughout the match against Sevilla, such as Isco and Nacho, Marcelo undoubtedly had another positive game. Offensively he is now producing the numbers that Madrid fans marvelled at roughly between 2010-12 and whilst his defence has always been called into question, I feel as though it too has significantly improved from the past couple of seasons. It now sounds accurate to call Marcelo one of the best left-backs in world football once again. His beautiful curling cross evaded all the Sevilla defenders to assist James Rodríguez and put Madrid ahead and he's fast becoming a vital player that Madrid will miss this coming weekend in the Derbi Madrileño.

4. The defence needs to start keeping clean sheets again. - Real have now conceded in 4 of their last 5 matches in all competitions. I think that that has been a large part of why this 2nd half of the season has not begun as brightly as the 1st half ended. We've been seeing more individual errors than before and whilst this could be due to a combination of multiple factors, such as the recent injuries to both our starting centre-backs, when all is said and done, it is still an area that could see significant improvement.

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