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Sevilla v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 22/09/2019

FT
0 - 1
SEV
RMA
K. Benzema (64)
Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán

Commentary

That's all from us for Real Madrid's 1-0 victory over Sevilla. Thanks for staying with us and goodbye for now! 
It's a huge victory for Madrid that takes them second in LaLiga, missing out on top spot on goal difference. It's Osasuna up next at home on Wednesday, before a Madrid Derby at the Wanda Metropolitano on the weekend. For Sevilla, they drop to fifth and miss the chance to go top - it's Eibar away on Thursday before they return home against Real Sociedad this weekend. 
It wasn't pretty, but it's job done for Real Madrid and they've got three massive points in the bag to take back to the Spanish capital. Benzema's 64th minute header was the only goal in a game of very few clear-cut chances. He's been such a reliable figure in recent years - more so since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club - and he's proved his worth once more. Sevilla made it tough, but they never really threatened Courtois and failed to register a shot on target. 
L. de Jong
Yellow Card
Sevilla
90' + 5' De Jong isn't happy about the result and takes his frustration out on the referee who shows him a yellow card after the full-time whistle has gone! 
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: SEVILLA 0-1 REAL MADRID.
90' + 3' Madrid are still on the attack though, Benzema with the ball out on the left and he feeds Bale, who uses his quick feet to beat his marker, but his shot hits the side-netting.
90' + 2' We're into four minutes of added time and Madrid are pulling every trick possible to slow play down - their players are dropping like flies! The referee isn't having any of it and waves Benzema - the latest player to go down injured - back onto his feet. 
Lucas Vázquez
E. Hazard
Real Madrid
90' That's Hazard's final contribution as he's taken off for Vazquez.
89' It's scrappy at the moment and Bale takes advantage of a loose ball with a dinked throughball into Hazard, but his touch lets him down despite being in acres of space, giving Carlos time to recover and make a challenge.
88' DRAMA! Hernandez has the ball in the back of the net - a deft touch flicking Banega's cross past Courtois - but the flag is raised and the striker is offside! Sevilla thought they'd equalised! 
86' Sevilla are still coming though, Reguilon attempting a long diagonal into the right channel, but the referee blows the whistle and play is halted as Carvajal is down holding his ribs. The physios need to come on, but he's okay to continue.
83' Madrid are less than 10 minutes away from a big win in Seville - this would only be their second win in seven LaLiga away games since Zidane returned as manager. The only other victory was against Celta Vigo in the opening game of the season. 
Nolito
Daniel Carriço
Sevilla
81' Lopetegui makes one final roll of the dice by taking off a centre-back in Carrico for Nolito.
80' Navas with some space out on the right to take on Mendy one-on-one, but he's forced backwards. Solid defending from the left-back to not concede a foul or give up any ground.
78' Ocampos with another cross from the byline into De Jong - he's completely free in the middle of the box but heads wide! That's a chance he really should be hitting the target from.
F. Valverde
J. Rodríguez
Real Madrid
76' Zinedine Zidane makes his first change, introducing Valverde for James to help regain control of the midfield.
75' Ocampos wins possession off Mendy and manages to get away, but a slight tug on the arm from Ramos prevents him reaching the ball before it goes out for a goal-kick - the referee doesn't spot it either!
73' Excellent defending from Ramos while under pressure from Ocampos - he uses his body, stays strong and wins a throw to try and get his side up the pitch and out of trouble. What a difference he's made on his return to the side.
71' Sevilla have a half-chance here as De Jong leaps high in the box and gets his head to a cross, but it takes a deflection and rolls just wide for a corner!
J. Hernández
Joan Jordán
Sevilla
69' Lopetegui makes another change, taking off Jordan and adding another forward in Hernandez.
69' CHANCE! Ocampos has a decent opportunity to level the scores unmarked in the centre of the box - but he volleys into the ground and over the bar! 
68' Here come Madrid again, Bale picking out Hazard with a switch of play. They work it wide back to Bale and he tries to drive into the box, but he's met by a strong defence and loses out.
66' Benzema actually has an impressive record against Sevilla, but not for goal-scoring! He's assisted eight goals against Sevilla in LaLiga, more than against any other side. He's on the scoresheet today, but there's still plenty of time for an assist!
Carvajal
Assist
Real Madrid
64' Now that's how to cross! Carvajal sets an example for Sevilla by creating an excellent chance from a cross.
K. Benzema
Goal
Real Madrid
64' GOAAAAL! 1-0 MADRID! Los Blancos finally come alive! Madrid keep the pressure up and work the ball wide to Bale, who slips in Carvajal to stick it up for Benzema at the far post - and the Frenchman makes no mistake with his free header.
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
62' Ocampos tries to use his speed to get round Ramos out on the far side of the pitch and the centre-back puts his body between the ball and his opponent, picking up a yellow in the process.
61' Great play from Torres to win the ball back off Madrid in a dangerous position, but his attempted throughball is blocked - that's the right idea though!
59' Here's some more context to this crossing game Sevilla are playing - they've attempted 14 open play crosses so far compared to Madrid's six, but they still haven't had a shot on target while the visitors have managed two. Some food for thought, perhaps.
57' Here's Ocampos out on the right, this time with a low cross, but it's not powerful enough to cause a problem and Ramos gets it away easily.
55' It's clear what Sevilla are trying to do for the most part - play into De Jong up front and utilise his height. But up against Ramos and Varane, it's debatable whether that's really the best method of attack. They're getting lots of space in behind the Madrid full-backs, but it could be worth keeping a few crosses on the ground to find late-arriving midfielders.
Joan Jordán
Yellow Card
Sevilla
53' Hazard gets away from Jordan out on the touchline, but the Sevilla midfielder pulls him back by the shirt and picks up a yellow card.
Óliver Torres
F. Vázquez
Sevilla
52' Lopetegui opts to go to the bench to try and impact the game, bringing on Torres for Vazquez.
51' Benzema gets Carrico under pressure, but the centre-back doesn't back down and manages to get the ball under his control and pass back to Vaclik. Good strength shown all-round there.
49' Madrid counter and it sets up Bale with a chance to burst into the box as he so often loves to do. Instead of cutting in looking for a shot, he tries to pick out Benzema, but the Frenchman isn't quite on the same wavelength and the pass is just behind him.
48' Ocampos bustles his way into the box with some neat footwork, but Mendy wins possession back without conceding a corner! That's a first for this game!
46' KICK-OFF! Real Madrid restart the action at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
A reminder that Sevilla have scored in each of their last 17 home league games against Madrid - the last time they failed to score against them on home soil in the league came back in March 2002. Hopefully, then, the second half will bring goals.
It'd be a lie to say this game has lived up to expectations so far. A drab first half saw both sides fail to sieze the initiative, but Madrid came closest to taking the lead - first through Hazard after 35 minutes and again through Carvajal four minutes later, but Vaclik was alert on both occasions and wasn't seriously under threat.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: SEVILLA 0-0 REAL MADRID.
45' + 1' Jordan lines up a set piece in stoppage time at the end of the first half, but it doesn't even clear the first man.
43' The pace of play has been very slow in this first half and it's probably because of the number of fouls both sides have conceded so far - Sevilla eight and Madrid seven. They've broken up promising passages of play and just generally disrupted the flow of the game.
41' Play's been stopped so Sevilla's Vazquez can receive some treatment from the physios. He'll be okay to continue, though.
39' SAVE! The ball comes straight back into Sevilla territory though, James slipping in Carvajal with a throughball and the right-back manages to get a shot away, but Vaclik saves again!
38' Sevilla are trying to play out, but they're struggling under the high Madrid press and Carrico is forced to clear it long.
35' SAVE! Benzema plays in Hazard to set up the first real chance of the game, but he can't get enough bend on the shot to to take it round Vaclik and the keeper saves at his near post!
32' James has some space on the left for a free cross into the box, but it's just so poor! He raises his hand to apologise to the numerous team-mates he had waiting in the box for a decent ball.
30' Half an hour gone and it's a relatively even game so far! Possession is split roughly 50/50 and neither side has managed to find the target yet. The quality you'd expect of these sides is lacking somewhat.
28' There's an incident between Bale and Reguilon and it seems as though Bale fouled the Sevilla left-back, but it's Lopetegui who's shown a yellow for remonstrating with the fourth official!
26' Banega with a pass wide to Reguilon, who turns inside to Ocampos and then back once more to Banega. Sevilla are moving the ball around so well, but there's no penetration when it counts. They're looking just a little blunt at the moment.
É. Banega
Yellow Card
Sevilla
26' Banega is next to be shown a yellow for a late tackle on James.
24' Sevilla are on the attack again, De Jong trying to weave his way into the box, but he's well-marshalled by Carvajal and they win yet another corner.
22' This is just wonderful from Sevilla! Such excellent interplay in the middle of the pitch -spearheaded by Banega - has seen them tear right through Madrid. It's a shame the final ball is lacking because a move of that quality deserves something at the end! 
Carvajal
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
20' Carvajal is shown a yellow card for catching Ocampos. The first real moment of note in the first half and it's a booking.
19' Real Madrid now with a chance to get on the front foot and it's Bale leading the charge. He cuts in and passes back to James, who decides to recycle possession and keep the ball moving.
16' Sevilla are keeping the pressure up at the moment, penning Madrid into their own defensive third. Can they turn this into a goal, though? They haven't threatened Courtois just yet.
14' Much has been made of Sevilla's start to the LaLiga campaign, Lopetegui winning three of his four games, but how about this for a stat! It's only one fewer than in his 10 matches with Real Madrid last season! How fortunes can change!
12' Carvajal tries to pick out Bale and he finds him near the byline. The Welshman crosses, but Carlos turns it behind for another corner - the fifth one of the game!
10' Sevilla with their third corner of the game to the near post and Banega goes for the spectacular! But it's completely miscued and he ends up sprawled out on the turf.
8' Another free-kick awarded in favour of Casemiro, this time Ocampos with the foul. Good play from the Brazilian as it earns his team some respite from a spell of Sevilla pressure.
6' Hazard delivers the free-kick towards the left of the box, but it's turned behind for a corner. Madrid take it short and Benzema gets his head to it, but only to give away a goal-kick.
5' Sevilla now with a chance to break and a lot of space in front of them, but the referee blows the whistle and calls play back to a foul on Casemiro by Fernando. A lucky break for Madrid!
4' Casemiro with a long pass wide to Hazard, who cuts in and lays it off simply to Mendy on the underlap. The left-back then switches play wide to the other side of the pitch. Patient passing this from Real Madrid trying to pick an opening.
2' Navas has some space to break into on the far side of the pitch, but he's closed down promptly by Mendy and forced to turn back.
1' KICK-OFF! Sevilla get the game started.
Don’t go anywhere because the teams are out and kick-off is coming up next!
Just five goals scored in four games for Sevilla, but their impressive start is very much predicated on a robust defence - their one goal conceded is the best record in the league. But will it hold against Madrid? Los Blancos have scored more away goals against Sevilla than any other side in LaLiga history (113).
Sevilla make eight changes from the side that won in Qarabag on Thursday, with Julen Lopetegui restoring all but one of the XI that beat Alaves in the league last weekend - Torres is victim here. Just the one change for Madrid from Wednesday’s defeat in Paris, but it’s a major boost as Ramos returns to defence, with Militao dropped. Still no Luka Modric, Isco, Marcelo or Marco Asensio, all of whom are injured.
SUBS: Alphonse Areola, Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, Fede Valverde, Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic, Vinicius Junior.
REAL MADRID XI (4-2-3-1): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Eden Hazard; Karim Benzema.
SUBS: Nolito, Jules Kounde, Yassine Bounou, Javier Hernandez, Nemanja Gudelj, Sergio Escudero, Oliver Torres.
SEVILLA XI (4-3-3): Tomas Vaclik; Jesus Navas, Diego Carlos, Daniel Carrico, Sergio Reguilon; Ever Banega, Fernando, Joan Jordan; Lucas Ocampos, Luuk de Jong, Franco Vazquez.
If Madrid are to win today though, it won’t be easy at all. They’ve not got the best of records at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, losing 11 of their eighteen visits in the 21st Century - that’s more than any other away ground since the start of January 2001.
What a start it's been for Sevilla, earning 10 points from their first four games to equal their best-ever start to a LaLiga campaign - and they have a massive opportunity to go top of the league with victory against a fragile Real Madrid side still reeling from a disappointing midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Los Blancos are still undefeated domestically though, and too could jump from seventh to first should they win by a big enough margin.
Hello everyone and welcome to our live coverage of the LaLiga showdown between Sevilla and Real Madrid.