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Immediate Reaction: Sevilla 3 - 2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid had trouble breaking through Sevilla’s defensive line, and once again, show vulnerability defending counter-attacks.

Sevilla v Real Madrid - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Sevilla defeated Real Madrid 3 - 2 (Ben Yedder, Layun, Sergio Ramos OG; Mayoral Sergio Ramos) at the Sanchez Pizjuan. Here’s our quick reaction. Still to come: Player ratings, post-game podcast, and tactical review.

Sevilla have enjoyed a nice mini-run under new interim head coach Joaquin Caparros. In a 1 - 0 win over Real Sociedad on Friday, Caparros started the forgotten Roque Mesa and Sandro Ramirez, and they took advantage of a full-strength Real Sociedad side, forcing Miguel Moya into a few brilliant saves in the process. Tonight, against a watered-down Real Madrid side, they pulled out a solid defensive performance, and threatened Zidane’s men on the counter-attack. Sevilla didn’t see much of the ball, but they were efficient.

Let’s get to it.

Bullet points from Kiyan’s notebook

  • I generally stayed away from Twitter tonight, but feel for Om running the MM account, dealing with all the overreaction regarding this match, which, let’s be clear — in a match which had nothing at stake. Sure, it was an opportunity to ‘practice’ defending counter-attacks and zipping up the transition defending; but this was always going to me more about developing youngsters, and our measuring stick of how the careers of these young players pan out are never going to be graded in matches like this, but rather on a large sample size which requires a ton of continuity and patience.
  • Having said that, no one lit this game on fire tonight from a Real Madrid perspective, and both Sergio Ramos and Jesus Vallejo had difficulty defending Sevilla’s long balls over the top of Real Madrid’s defensive line. On the first goal, Vallejo was able to get behind his man in time to slow him down, but Ramos was late to react Ben Yedder’s cutting-run in behind them. On the second goal conceded, Real Madrid’s entire defensive line was spread thin, and both Casemiro and Ceballos were slow to track back, leaving Kiko Casilla quite helpless.
  • Real Madrid had a ton of possession in this one, but lacked incisiveness in the final third. To be sure, Sevilla defended well, and players like Escudero and Pizarro really had a great game defensively. It was hard to see where Real Madrid’s goals would come from. There were times where Real Madrid would cross to a heavily marked and isolated Benzema / Asensio in the box. Other times, a one-two pass was quickly closed down by white shirts. Lucas Vazquez worked hard to create danger with his dribbling, and he did win a penalty. But, again, it was tough to get past this Sevilla defensive line with the resources Real Madrid had today.
  • It was interesting to see Kovacic and Ceballos so interchangeable on both sides of the field. It’s a totally different dynamic than the Kroos - Modric duo.
  • A very eventful day for Sergio Ramos: one missed penalty, one own goal, defensive chaos, and a scored penalty. A Sevilla fan’s wet dream, really.
  • A second consecutive solid game from Casemiro, who had a ton of offensive touches in Real Madrid’s build-up (or not build up, depending on how conducive to scoring you found Real Madrid’s possession) and some good reads defensively. Encouraging.
  • Now a whole lot to discuss, and again, this is not a match you need to get super passionate on Twitter about. We’ll break this down a bit more tonight on that podcast.

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