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Initial Reaction: Sevilla 2 - 3 Real Madrid

A scare at the end but the whites prevail.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Two goals from Sevilla spoiled what was otherwise a good night.

  1. Sevilla's shape to start this game was quite perfect. They were organized behind the ball - compact and playing their angles very well in anticipation to burst free when they had the ball. To counteract this, Ancelotti had Real Madrid equally staunch and solid with Ramos in midfield which provides ideal stability. With Ramos there organizing the team, Kroos, Varane, and Pepe have less burden on their shoulders and an extra presence to rely on in every aspect of the field: Passing, positioning, and cover.
  2. As the game progressed, Sevilla's shell became exposed, and Ronaldo in particular was enjoying the quick counters. Basically, this second point is all about him. Ronaldo carried the team on his back and scored 3 vital goals. Someone asked me today: "When will Ronaldo do what Messi did today?". The answer: Immediately, apparently. He was immense, and his third goal was one of his best of the season. Just a gorgeous header.
  3. This game was made for Gareth Bale with the ample space it provided as Sevilla surged forward. Gareth is the perfect player to bring on in this situation and he did will. A great cross to Ronaldo for the third goal, and I enjoyed the brief moment he switched to the left side and beat his man for the cross. Do you think someone showed Carlo my article from a few days ago? One can only dream.
  4. Casillas needs to sit down. I don't blame him for either goal, but surely Navas would have at least attempted to save the second one. Keylor has great reflexes and athleticism while Iker's presence is dissipating rapidly. Please refer to this vine.

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