Monday, October 5, 2009

Sevilla 2-1 Real Madrid: Navas & Renato Score As Hosts Down Merengues

Goals from Jesus Navas and Renato, sandwiched by Pepe's header, gave Sevilla a home win against Real Madrid, who have been inflicted their first loss of the season.

Sevilla began the game much better than their opponents and wasted a clear chance on goal in the fifth minute. A corner from the right was directed at the centre of the box, where Konko rose unmarked but his header went high and wide.

Just one minute later, there was another proof of Sevilla's attacking intent. A fast play saw Jesus Navas being played through, the winger ran towards the box but was denied by Casillas, who had rushed out of his zone.

Luis Fabiano then wasted two chances in front of goal in the space of minutes. In the first one, his weak effort was comfortably held by Casillas, while in the second one, he slipped and could not connect to the ball cleanly, allowing Casillas to get hold of it.

The first sight of danger by Real Madrid came only 22 minutes into the game. Guti with a through ball to Raul, who did well to find some space to pass the ball along the floor for Benzema but the Frenchman missed the connection.

The hosts would find the back of the net in the 34th minute, when a good combination between Navarro and Perotti down the left resulted in a cross to the box, where Jesus Navas rose higher than sleeping Marcelo to head home.

Madrid tried to respond to Sevilla right after, when the ball fell to Xabi Alonso at the entrance of the box, but the former Liverpool man's low shot was easily saved by Andres Palop.

In the 41st minute, another great chance for the hosts. A good work from Navas down the right saw him dispossess Marcelo before crossing to the box, where Luis Fabiano had everything to score but his header went wide of the post.

The last chance of the first half belonged to Sevilla. A cross from the left was aimed at Renato, who got between two Madrid defenders but his header went straight at Casillas from four yards out.

The second half began pretty much in the same manner, with Sevilla creating danger in the very first moments. In the 46th minute, Negredo raced down the right and passed the ball across the face of the goal to Perotti, who should have done better than sending the ball against a diving Casillas.

And just when many thought the 2-0 was around the corner, Madrid equalised through Pepe. The Portugal defender rose higher than his defender following a free-kick whipped into the box.

Sevilla moved ahead in the 65th minute, when a cross from the right found Renato completely unmarked, and the midfielder headed home from close range.

Madrid then went looking for the equaliser, replacing Diarra with Rafael Van der Vaart, a substitution that left many spaces in their own midfield, which Sevilla could not use to their advantage.

In the last seconds of the match, Madrid could have equalised in a counter-attack, but Sergio Ramos' shot went wide of the post.

It was a well-deserved win for Sevilla, who had most of the chances here. Madrid are now three points adrift of Barcelona, and they will have to thank their keeper for not losing by a bigger margin.

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