The Frenchman's second-half brace ensured that Los Blancos survived a few scares to secured three vital points over the inconsistent Rojiblancos.Real Madrid recovered from its Champions League elimination in midweek with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with his 43rd Liga goal of the season before Karim Benzema added a quickfire double after the break to move Los Blancos 10 points clear at the league's summit.
After a bright opening few minutes for the visitors Madrid quickly picked up its game and in the eighth minute the club had a penalty claim when Ronaldo was felled by Juan Cala in the box. Nothing was given but just three minutes later the Portuguese was in behind again.
Ronaldo latched onto a Mesut Ozil through ball and rounded the keeper. His touch took the ball too wide, enabling the defenders to stop his cutback from reaching Benzema.
The breakthrough came in the 19th when Benzema released Ronaldo on the left side of the box. He feigned to shoot, committing Coke to the challenge, and then drilled the ball home with his right foot.
A flurry of three chances in four minutes came for the visitors soon after as Los Blancos seemed incapable of dealing with quick breaks.
Marcelo was leaving acres of space on the left and Sevilla was gifted a flurry of chances before the half-hour mark. With 25 minutes on the clock Jose Antonio Reyes failed to beat Iker Casillas with an extremely tame effort and then both Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo blazed over the bar in one-one situations.
In the 36th minute Madrid was awarded an indirect free kick in the area after Fazio went in with a high foot on Ronaldo. The Portuguese drilled the effort from 12 yards but could only rattle the frame of the goal.
After an early scare at the start to the second period as Negredo cut inside of Pepe but failed to pick out the corner with his attempt.
Madrid then doubled the lead. With 48 minutes on the clock Benzema ghosted in behind Coke to poke the ball in from Angel Di Maria's exquisitely weighted pass.
The home side was rampant and after another swift counterattack from a Sevilla free kick, Benzema applied the finishing touch to Sergio Ramos' great cross with a diving header four minutes later.
Michel's side was crestfallen and was far more cautious in committing men forward for the remainder of the game. Madrid therefore controlled the closing stages but failed to add to the scoreline with the referee refusing to give any of a number of penalty claims for the home team.
The victory puts Real Madrid 10 points clear at the top of La Liga though Barcelona can close that gap with victory over Rayo Vallecano later this evening. Should the Blaugrana lose their first game without Pep Guardiola at the helm then they will conceded the title to their arch rival. Meanwhile, Sevilla could find itself drifting further away from European football should results go against them this weekend.
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