In the first match after the Spanish Supercup success, Real Madrid managed to take three points by defeating Sevilla 2-1. This is a huge win in the title race, one which answers several questions and which conjures up some more.
1. Would there be a guard of honour before the match?
The Spanish media love to talk about guards of honour. It might be their favourite thing. So, a lot of the pre-match talk was focussed on whether or not Sevilla would commemorate Real Madrid’s Spanish Supercup victory by performing a guard of honour before the match. The answer was that they did. Sergio Ramos, who wasn’t playing as he’s still not fully recovered from an ankle injury, also presented the trophy won in Saudi Arabia to the Bernabéu crowd before kick-off.
2. Who would provide the goals for Real Madrid?
Real Madrid entered this match with it having been over a month since one of their forwards scored a goal. That was Karim Benzema’s equaliser against Valencia on December 15th. Since then, they’ve scored plenty of goals, but have done so entirely through defenders and midfielders. That was the case against Sevilla again. The goals were provided by an unlikely source in Casemiro, who, like Raphaël Varane before him, came up with a brace from deep.
3. Would Sevilla’s awful Bernabéu run be extended?
Sevilla are terrible when they visit Real Madrid. They really are. Even though they always give Real Madrid a good game when they host them in Andalusia, Los Rojiblancos struggle as soon as they enter the Bernabéu. Coming into this game, it was 12 consecutive defeats away at Real Madrid for Sevilla, with 40 goals conceded and just eight goals scored. That’s now up to 13 defeats in a row, with 42 conceded and nine scored. They’ll hope they don’t have to return in the Copa del Rey.
1. Should Luuk de Jong’s first half header have been ruled out?
This is main talking point in the Spanish media after this match. In the first half, Luuk de Jong headed the ball into the back of the net, but VAR intervened and deemed that Éder Militão, who was his marker at the corner that was being taken, had been obstructed by Nemanja Gudelj. The goal was disallowed, but the big question is: was that the correct decision?
2. What will Rodrygo’s next 100 matches bring?
This weekend’s game was a special one for Rodrygo Goes as he celebrated his 100th professional appearance. He has played 16 times for Real Madrid, 82 times for Santos and twice for the Brazilian national team. Still just 19 years of age, he has already impressed so much. So, what will the next 100 matches bring?
3. Will Real Madrid reach 100 days undefeated?
With this win, it’s now 91 days since Real Madrid felt to defeat in Mallorca. Since then, they’ve had 17 matches and have won 12 and drawn five of them. They’re on an excellent run of form, but can they keep it up? Just nine more days and two trips to the north-west of Madrid to face Unionistas de Salamanca and Real Valladolid remain to reach 100 days undefeated.