Sevilla FC – Real Madrid: Pablo Machín knows where it hurts Madrid the most: in the back of Marcelo (3-0)
What happens if you manage to win every duel in midfield, score at least one goal out of set pieces and turn a corner kick of the opponent into a goal in your favour? Well, you become almost unbeatable. You can even beat Real Madrid with a clear, let’s say, 3-0. If you ever can: become such a team. If you ever can: become Sevilla.
Spoiler alert. This is not the analysis all of you Marcelo-fans want to read. It is difficult not to love an all-out attacking back – it is one of the most beautiful things in football – but too much is sometimes just too much. The Brazilian was involved in all three goals Real Madrid conceded yesterday in Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. Two of those a result of bad positioning.
Things would have been difficult for Madrid even if Marcelo played up to standards, anyway. With Isco – who has his appendix taken out – and Dani Carvajal injured, coach Julen Lopetegui missed two key players.
Madrid also managed to win only once in her last seven visits to Sevilla and while the home team did miss the injured Sergio Escudero, Gabriel Mercado, Ibrahim Amadou, Maxime Gonalons and Aleix Vidal, they had still managed to produce the second best amount of Expected Goals this season: 10,2. Slightly less than FC Barcelona, but – and that gave the home team courage – slightly more than Real Madrid.
Modrić and Kroos spy-like shadowed
Because, who was who yesterday? Who was the team that so historically won three Champions League-titles in a row and who was that eternal outsider that just was not good enough to compete with the real big boys in Spain? After 90 minutes of football, it was . . .