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Real Madrid 3-2 Sevilla: Van Der Vaart Strikes In Stoppage Time


Real Madrid clawed back from a two goal deficit against Sevilla, to earn all three points at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid lined up with their strongest possible lineup, while Alvaro Negredo led the line for Sevilla.

Los Merengues went into the game knowing that Barcelona had dropped point earlier, but they got off to a horrific start. On ten minutes, Diego Capel put a cross in from the left, and in an attempt to clear, Xabi Alonso guided the ball past Iker Casillas into his own net.

Having taken the lead, Sevilla seemed content to absorb the pressure, but it took until the 25th minute for Madrid to create a dangerous chance, with Marcelo forcing Andres Palop into a save from a narrow angle. The Brazilian was looking dangerous, and only quick reactions from Palop stopped him equalizing ten minutes later, having been played in by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Los Merengues were suddenly piling on the pressure, and Gonzalo Higuain had the next chance, volleying straight at Palop having been set up by Sergio Ramos. The right-back then seemed to have laid the equaliser on for Kaka, but the Brazilian inexplicably failed to connect from yards out.

On the stroke of half-time, Ronaldo broke free and unleashed a shot goalwards, only to see Palop block with his feet. That proved to be the final action in a first half that Madrid dominated, but failed to score in.

Unfortunately for Real Madrid, the second half started in eerily similar fashion to the  first. While the hosts had all of the ball, Sevilla extended their lead on 51 minutes in bizarre fashion, when Ivica Dragutinovic's seemingly harmless free-kick from range evaded everyone, including Casillas, and trickled into the net.

Los Merengues were in desperate need of a goal, and Kaka looked likely to provide it, but he shot straight at Palop, having been played through by Higuain. However, on the hour mark, Ronaldo provided the breakthrough, latching on to a loose ball in the box and firing past Palop.

Buoyed by the goal, Madrid continued to attack, and Guti was inches away from equalizing when his drive was deflected onto the crossbar and over. From the resulting corner, Sergio Ramos rose highest to score against his former club, and level the scores.

The hosts looked by far the most likely to get the winner, and they were centimetres away from doing so when Ramos just failed to get on the end of Ronaldo's ball across the box. Then, Higuain cut in from the left and let fly, only to see his shot smack the post.

'El Pipita' was getting more involved, and he soon tested out the woodwork again, this time hitting the crossbar having beaten two defenders. He soon recreated the move, but this time his effort was well off target.

Sevilla seemed content to hold out for the final ten minutes, and despite an onslaught from the hosts, it looked as though they would do just that. However, with seconds remaining, Higuain's header was parried by Palop straight into the path of Rafael Van Der Vaart, and the Dutchman tapped into an empty net, much to the delight of the home crowd.

That proved to be the final action of a dramatic game, as Los Merengues joined Barcelona on top of the league.