A late wonder strike from Vinicius Jr gave Real Madrid a 2-1 victory over title rivals Sevilla on Sunday night, as Carlo Ancelotti’s men extended their lead at the top of La Liga to four points.
Despite starting proceedings under the cosh, Sevilla found the breakthrough after 11 minutes when Rafa Mir nodded in Marcos Acuna’s corner with great precision, directing the ball back across goal into the corner of the net.
The visitors continued to press for goals and were inches away from doubling their lead just seconds after notching the opener. Mir was once again threatening, firstly seeing an effort blocked on the line by David Alaba before forcing Thibaut Courtois into a sensational stop on the rebound.
Hearts were then in mouths as Lucas Ocampos had the Real shot stopper beaten with a delicious curling effort from range, only for the ball to cannon off the crossbar.
Julen Lopetegui’s men were made to rue those missed opportunities before the break, however, when Eder Militao’s long-range effort was fumbled by Bono, allowing Karim Benzema to swoop in and tap the ball home as it came back off the upright.
In what proved a much more subdued second half, it would take a moment of sheer magical brilliance from Vinicius Jr to steal the three points. Collecting the ball on the left wing, the Brazilian cut inside before unleashing a fierce strike from range before watching it rocket into Bono’s top corner.
That late strike would prove the match-winner, extending Los Blancos’ excellent run of form and increasing their lead at the top of La Liga. Here’s how the Real Madrid players rated.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 7/10 – Saved brilliantly to keep the score at 1-0 early on and did the same to deny a last minute equaliser. Saviour.
Dani Carvajal (RB) – 6/10 – Marauded forward to decent effect, although seemed to lack concentration at the back as he made a few errors that could have easily proved fatal.
Eder Militao (CB) – 7/10 – Continually impressing as he’s had to step up to the plate this campaign. Invariably alert to danger, showing fantastic pace, positional awareness and composure throughout. Claimed the assist for the winning strike, too.
David Alaba (CB) – 7/10 – Showed great defensive instinct to make a crucial block on the line at 1-0 and remained solid to tough tests all night.
Ferland Mendy (LB) – 7/10 – Comfortable driving upfield, looking dangerous and injecting great intensity whenever he did.
Casemiro (DM) – 5/10 – A bizarrely sloppy performance in the first half, losing possession several times and often failing to provide an adequate shield to his back four, although sharpened up after the interval.
Luka Modric (CM) – 6/10 – Not the most convincing defensive display but was central to his side’s creativity for the large majority. Always an option to teammates, contributing to build up play with efficient, intelligent and neat touches on the ball.
Toni Kroos (CM) – 5/10 – Spread play so effortlessly, maintaining a pass accuracy of 94%, but too often without a penetrative impact.
Marco Asensio (RW) – 5/10 – Came into this fixture in a great vein of form but, disappointingly, let the game pass him by somewhat.
Karim Benzema (ST) – 7/10 – Typically influential in Los Blancos’ attacking phases with some stunning link-up play, and was sharpest in the box to get his side’s equaliser.
Vinicius Jr (LW) – 8/10 – Really energetic in his pressing and characteristically vibrant on the front foot, deservedly grabbing the winner with a truly unbelievable strike. Wow, he really is a Real Madrid star.
Eduardo Camavinga (CM) – 6/10 – Introduced an added vigour into midfield, making his side more of a threat when moving towards goal.
Federico Valverde (RW) – 5/10 – Not really involved all that much on his return from injury.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – N/A
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – N/A