Julen Lopetegui returned to the Santiago Bernabeu as Sevilla coach with his first match against a Carlo Ancelotti led Real Madrid team. A victory for the Andalusian side would see them go top of the table, above Real Madrid, with 31 points. Despite an important Champions League match against Sheriff earlier in the week, Carlo repeated a near identical line-up, with Asensio replacing Rodrygo (a late scratch from the squad list after picking up the flu). Sevilla were far the better team in the opening 45 minutes, but only managed one goal from their good play. A blunder from Sevilla goalkeeper, Bono, allowed Madrid to get one back before halftime and help turn the tide of the match. Lopetegui’s men began to tire in the second half and a moment of individual brilliance from Vinicius Junior saw Madrid secure the three points. Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—9: The Belgian goalkeeper is performing at least one miracle per match. A momentous save in the 93rd minute helped Real Madrid maintain the victory.
Dani Carvajal—3: A night to forget for Dani Carvajal. He struggled with the movement and interchange between Papu Gomez, Acuna, and Rakitic. Had a number of sloppy giveaways, including a square pass to Militao which was under hit and intercepted by Sevilla leading to a dangerous counter attack.
Eder Militao—8: Another monstrous performance in the backline. Team high of three interceptions, team high of 7 clearances, and team high of 6 aerial duels won. Rating would have been higher had he not lost track of Rafa Mir on Sevilla’s opening goal from a corner kick.
David Alaba—7.5: Did not show any signs of impact from his knee injury. Provided a vital goal line clearance in the first half.
Ferland Mendy—8: One of Ferland Mendy’s best games on the ball. Had 6 completed dribbles, 3 of which were likely completed in one sequence where he showed off with a roulette and an L-turn to beat 3 players. Did fight to compete with the offensive threat of Lucas Ocampos.
Casemiro—4: Improved in the second half, but was poor in the first half. Poor control on the ball and under hit passes led to a number of lost possessions and dangerous counter attacking opportunities for Sevilla.
Toni Kroos—7: Was crucial in switching the field of attack and hit Carvajal with a number of inch-perfect cross field long balls.
Luka Modric—5: Uncharacteristically quite performance form the Croatian. Seemed fatigued and was taken off in the second half.
Marco Asensio—4: Took two shots with his thunderous left foot, one at the top of the box right at the end of the half — which he should have gotten on target. The other, a moment where he likely should have passed to Benzema on the counter.
Vinicius Junior—8: Despite not playing well for large stretches of the match, the moment arrived and Vinicius took it. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Vinicius Junior’s goal rifled into the upper 90 and won 3 points for Real Madrid.
Karim Benzema—6.5: Like Vinicius, it was a game where Benzema struggled to have his usual impact. Despite the staunch defending from Sevilla, the French striker pounced on Bono’s mistake. Benzema’s goal was his 11th in La Liga as he continues to march on in the race for the Pichichi.
Eduardo Camavinga—7: Brought much needed energy and drive to the midfield. Won some fouls and helped circulate possession in search of a winning goal.
Fede Valverde—7: Replaced Marco Asensio on the right wing, and like Camavinga, brought an upgrade in intensity and match pace to a Real Madrid team looking in need of a pick me up.
Nacho—N/A: Played the final few minutes of the match to help secure the victory.