Real Madrid returned to LaLiga action after the international break with a 1-1 draw against Sevilla at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Saturday evening, taking a valuable point from a tricky away day.
After a frustrating start which saw two early Real Madrid goals disallowed (more on that later in this piece), Sevilla took the lead through a David Alaba own goal as he caught out Kepa in goal to put the ball into his own net. That lead lasted only four minutes, though, as Dani Carvajal scored his third headed goal for the club as he rose highest to convert a Toni Kroos free-kick.
These three stats help to tell the tale of the game.
6: Fouls on Jude Bellingham
If Sevilla were able to shut down Jude Bellingham and succeed were many have failed in LaLiga this season, their game plan for doing so was clear from the off. That was obvious in the opening 10 minutes, when the England international had already been fouled twice.
This was only the third game in which Bellingham has failed to score for Real Madrid, following a win over Real Sociedad and a defeat to Atlético Madrid, but matched his highest figure of six fouls against him in a single game, from the opening day win over Athletic Club.
Sevilla only committed a total of 12 fouls, meaning that half were on the Real Madrid playmaker, while that figure was twice as many as were on the next most-fouled player, Vinícius Júnior, on three.
It was successful in limiting Bellingham, who registered only one shot from outside the box which was blocked. It reflected new Sevilla coach Diego Alonso’s approach to shutting him down and denying him any space between the lines, though Bellingham was still effective, winning a match-high nine duels.
26: Goals ruled out by VAR since its introduction in LaLiga
Real Madrid thought they had taken an early lead when Fede Valverde’s attempt deflected off Sergio Ramos and then the post to roll into the back of the net. However, it was to be pulled back for an offside in the build-up with Jude Bellingham’s heel narrowly catching him offside before he was tumbled over to the feed the ball into the Uruguayan’s path.
It was the 26th time that a Real Madrid goal in LaLiga has been ruled out by VAR, more than any other team. The next highest number is just 15, ironically for this evening’s opponents, Sevilla. It reflects a great source of frustration for Madridistas, whether they’re playing home or away, even if it does ultimately mean that the right decision is awarded. In cases like this one with only millimetres in it, the most passionate of fans will always question the call.
That fury only built further moments later when referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea indicated for play to stop as Real Madrid mounted a dangerous counter-attack which would end with Bellingham tucking the ball into the bottom corner only for that goal not to stand either. It was a strange moment as the referee did not award a foul to Sevilla, but still indicated to stop play for Lucas Ocampos’ injury despite it not being a head injury.
It was ironic following Real Madrid TV’s feature on De Burgos Bengoetxea, published on Friday. The three-and-a-half-minute long hit piece looked back at the controversial decisions involving Real Madrid, such as the 2017 Supercopa Clásico at Camp Nou when Luis Suárez was awarded a laughable penalty and Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off.
15: Visits to Andalusia without tasting defeat
Trips to the south of Spain are rarely easy, but Real Madrid’s record in the region of Andalusia is quite remarkable. This was the 15th game in a row without defeat there, extending a run dating back to pre-Covid times when Real Betis beat Los Blancos 2-1 in March 2020 in the final LaLiga game before Spain went into lockdown.
Since then, Real Madrid have registered 12 wins and three draws. Those two draws before Saturday include a 1-1 tie with Cádiz late in the 2021/22 campaign and a 0-0 stalemate with Real Betis in March of this year. Matches against Almería, Granada and Sevilla have always ended in victory for Real Madrid.
This was also Real Madrid’s 10th consecutive game unbeaten against Sevilla, with defeat last coming courtesy of a Sergio Ramos own goal in a 3-2 defeat at the Pizjuán in 2018. Nacho, Lucas Vázquez and Dani Ceballos are the only Madridistas who remain at the club to have featured that night.
However, Real Madrid did miss out on a possible fifth consecutive win at the Pizjuán, something that has never been achieved before. This was the 80th meeting between the two teams at the stadium, with a Real Madrid winning streak never stretching beyond four games in a row.