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Three talking points from Sevilla 1-1 Real Madrid | La Liga



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

It was never going to be easy to take down a side with Sergio Ramos in it, even for the mighty Real Madrid. Unsurprisingly, the former Galactico captain dished out a classic for Sevilla last night to keep Los Blancos at bay and secure a draw for his side.

The game was not without its fair share of controversy. The visitors had two goals disallowed and a penalty claim on Vinicius Jr. rejected outright by the referee, and while there may be room to argue over the same, it is clear that Real Madrid were far from their best.

The clash at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan saw its first goal late in the second half when David Alaba netted an own goal to give the hosts the lead. Minutes later, Real Madrid struck back through Dani Carvajal to equalise but that marked the end of the scoring on the night.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from Sevilla 1-1 Real Madrid.

Kepa pulls off a stunner

You know it was a tough day at work for Real Madrid when the goalkeeper winds up as one of the team’s best players on the field.

Throughout the 90 minutes at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan, the hosts maintained the pressure on the men in white through constant attacks. While Real Madrid kept some of the impetus in the first period, the second half was almost all Sevilla.

Los Nervionenses had a higher xA tally compared to Real Madrid on the night as they pummelled crosses into the centre hoping to find the back of the net. They took a staggering 17 shots on the night, seven of which were on target and two of which warranted blocks.

They ended up netting their opener from one of their three big chances. Yet, it was Kepa Arrizabalaga who single-handedly denied the hosts all three points after their comprehensive performance.

The Spanish shot-stopper made an unbelievable six saves of the night, some of which required serious athleticism to pull off. Three of his saves came from inside the box.

A special mention goes out to Dani Carvajal who, on the evening, pulled off a sensational goal-line clearance to deny Sevilla. Notably, he also netted the equaliser for the Merengues’ after they went down in the second half.

The Brazilian collapse

A quiet outing in front of goal for Vini and Rodrygo (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)

A large part of the blame for Real Madrid’s underwhelming result in Seville lies on the shoulders of the attacking department.

Carlo Ancelotti opted to start his Brazilian combination of Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes on the night with Jude Bellingham operating in the spaces behind. Despite having three of football’s most promising youngsters on the field, however, not much came from the Merengues’ attack.

The men in white appeared relatively clueless in the final third as they did not receive much support from the midfield. Vinicius and Rodrygo, in particular, were far from their magical selves.

The former, who has been on a purple patch since his return from injury, managed to complete just two of his seven attempted dribbles in an uncharacteristic show. Further, he had two shots blocked and provided just one key pass on the night.

Rodrygo, meanwhile, was as unconvincing as he has been all season. Despite getting into good positions, he never really threatened the Sevilla goal. He had two shots off target, missed two big chances, and did not complete a single dribble on the day.

The competition grows closer

Real Madrid entered Matchday 10 of La Liga EA Sports as the sole leader. With a two-point gap over Atletico Madrid and Girona and a three-point lead over Barcelona, all they needed was a win against Sevilla to ensure they maintained their lead.

The two dropped points at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan, however, could prove costly to the Merengues’ position on the league standings. After all, they have now opened the door for their direct competitors to close the gap.

Los Rojiblancos now sit just three points behind Real Madrid, with a game in game while Girona can close the gap later today with a win over relegation-threatened Alaves.

Most importantly, however, last night’s result sets up for a spicy Clasico fixture with everything to play for.

Barcelona face off against Athletic Club later today, and a win would bring them within one point of Ancelotti’s men. Considering that El Clasico is Real Madrid’s next league game, there will be everything to play for on the day.

If the Blaugranas beat the Basque opposition today, the winner of the Clasico could walk away with the lead after Match Day 11. The stage, needless to say, is set.

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Kroos, Courtois start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could lineup against Real Betis



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Having won the league comfortably after accumulating 94 points in 37 games, Real Madrid’s main objective for the last game of the season, set to go ahead tomorrow, against Real Betis, would be to finish on 97 points.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are coming off a 4-4 draw against Villarreal last weekend, Madrid will be looking to end the domestic season with a win, which would also serve as a huge confidence boost ahead of their Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Reports have suggested that Ancelotti is alternating his lineup ahead of the UCL final to keep his troops fit and gunning. And after rotations last week against Villarreal, all signs point towards the best XI taking the field vs Betis.

Keeping that in mind, Madrid Universal takes a jab at the 14-time Champions League winners’ final starting lineup of the season for their game against Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis.

Defence: Militao or Nacho?

Andriy Lunin returned to guard the posts against Villarreal, which could be a sign that Ancelotti is preparing to use Thibaut Courtois as his goalkeeper against Dortmund. As such, we expect the Belgian to handle the gloves tomorrow.

Daniel Carvajal is expected to replace Lucas Vazquez as the right-back, while Ferland Mendy returns to take over his left-back role.

Antonio Rudiger’s spot does not seem to be in any threat at all, but there are question marks over who will start alongside him, especially on the back of Eder Militao’s disastrous performance vs Villarreal.

Consequently, Nacho might get the nod tomorrow, especially since it could be his last game for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Midfield: Farewell Toni

While Nacho’s future is still up in the air, Toni Kroos announced his decision to leave Madrid at the end of the season on a free transfer. He will play his final game at home tomorrow, and is expected to get a huge farewell.

Kroos’ last game in Madrid colours. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Federico Valverde will aid him in midfield, playing on the right side of the trident, while Eduardo Camavinga starts as the defensive midfielder to cover for the injured Aurelien Tchouameni.

Attack: No doubts

The attack pretty much picks itself, especially if Ancelotti is truly planning on mirroring the lineup that will likely start the Champions League final as well.

Jude Bellingham will retain his spot as the false 9, playing slightly off left as he has done more so in recent weeks.

Brazilian powerhouse Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo will get the license to start as the two forwards up top, playing in front of Bellingham.

Off the bench

Joselu will almost definitely get some minutes tomorrow, and more than likely in the Champions League final as well, especially owing to his brilliance against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Similarly, Ancelotti could opt to experiment with Luka Modric in midfield in the second half, especially if Tchouameni does not make it back in time to full fitness ahead of the final.

Eder Militao and Arda Guler are also in for some minutes tomorrow, with the latter on the scoresheet four time sin the last three games.

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