Real Madrid visited Sevilla in their first ‘final’ out of the last nine games left in La Liga after losing El Clasico. They were not able to come out with any points as they now find themselves in third place.
With Sergio Ramos and Angel Di Maria both suspended for the game, Carlo Ancelotti had to make a few changes but was still able to field a strong team. The starting lineup consisted of:
Diego Lopez, Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Marcelo [C], Xabi Alonso, Asier Illarramendi, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Carlos Bacca (19′)
Carlos Bacca (72′)
Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (17′)
If there is anything to take from the Jose Mourinho era, it is that rotations are very necessary in the team, especially with some of the older players. Los Merengues played a very high-paced match earlier this week against Barcelona and the fatigue was very clear on some of the players. The main player who should have been rested during the game was Xabi Alonso who was slow and not able to keep up with the energy of the game. In my opinion, Illarramendi should have stayed on the pitch and Alonso should have been taken off. Nothing seemed to really go well in the game.
Asier Illarramendi was given the opportunity to start the match against Sevilla and did exceptionally well in a very difficult match. Placed alongside Xabi Alonso, ‘Illarra’ was able to keep up the pace of the game and almost came out with a beautiful assist to Cristiano Ronaldo on the night. He was later substituted off and replaced with Isco as Carlo Ancelotti was looking for any answer to get Real Madrid points against Sevilla.
Gareth Bale has had quite a good season so far with Real Madrid but has also had some disappointing performances. Sadly, the game against Sevilla wasn’t too great for him either. Real Madrid need to be able to depend on players such as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in times of need but the Welshman was simply not able to deliver. He opted to go for long shots and try his luck with every single one of them going wide. A very disappointing performances from the former Tottenham player. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like Ronaldo was too good either…
Cristiano Ronaldo is known to be the hero of Real Madrid but last night just wasn’t one for him to remember. Yes, he got his name on the scoresheet through a deflected free-kick but that was about it. He was able to hit the post and have a few opportunities but these chances were covering the overall fact that he simply wasn’t fully up for it. The Portuguese seemed a little distracted and frustrated throughout the game, maybe it has something to do with what happened in El Clasico, I don’t know. Either way, he wasn’t able to deliver his usual performance. I completely understand that even the best players are able to have a bad day but it still doesn’t excuse all the facts.
In A Rush?
Real Madrid have been able to adopt a different type of playing style under Carlo Ancelotti which saw them go through an impressive 31 games without losing until the 4-3 loss against Barcelona. They always took their time while building their attacks and, soon enough, they found themselves scoring goals. We didn’t see any of that last night as everyone were trying their own thing and many players such as Ronaldo, Bale, and Luka Modric, were taking shots from outside of the box most of the time. Sevilla had all men behind the ball but that doesn’t mean that Real Madrid should play Sevilla’s game and take shots from outside the whole time.
My Personal Player Ratings:
Diego Lopez: 7/10
Daniel Carvajal: 7.5/10
Raphael Varane: 7.5/10
Xabi Alonso: 6.5/10
Asier Illarramendi: 8.5/10
Gareth Bale: 7/10
Luka Modric: 7.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7.5/10
Karim Benzema: 7/10