Real Madrid, led by Sergio Ramos in their thrilling 1-1 draw against Sevilla, will be the clear league leaders going into next week’s Clasico versus Barcelona.
After Antoine Griezmann’s hat trick in a 3-0 win over a 10-man Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid is closing in on city rivals Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, led by Carlo Ancelotti, dropped two points in the title race but gained four on fourth-place Barcelona ahead of Sunday’s game against Athletic Bilbao.
Dani Carvajal scored for Madrid right after they went up on an own goal by David Alaba.
In his first game for Sevilla in 18 years, former Madrid captain Sergio Ramos upset Los Blancos with a classic, all-action display.
Sevilla, under new head coach Diego Alonso, played well in their opener and gave as good as they got against Real Madrid. They will face Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday.
After Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos went down with an injury and Madrid pressed the matter, goals by Fede Valverde and Jude Bellingham were both disallowed.
When asked about the performance of the referee, Ancelotti claimed (maybe sarcastically) that the official “did well,” “he had a good game,” and “he stopped the counter-attack to look after the health of a player,” all of which are indicators of strong performance.
The trainer continued by telling him he needed to be evasive to protect himself from punishment for being open about his emotions.
Ancelotti told Real Madrid’s television station, “Irony is the only way (to speak) after this match because I think that if I say what I think about the refereeing I will receive a lot of games’ suspension.”
For the time being, my ideal location would be on the Real Madrid bench. In order to avoid being expelled from school, I avoid saying what’s really on my mind and instead pepper my speech with sarcasm.
Ramos, 37, returned to his boyhood club Sevilla in September and put in a spectacular defensive showing against Madrid at the boisterous Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium.
After making a great save on Alaba’s close-range attempt, Ramos addressed his successor in Madrid, Antonio Rudiger, and squeezed the German’s cheeks.
Just before halftime, Sevilla custodian Orjan Nyland made a diving save on a volley from Vinicius Junior, one of Madrid’s greatest chances.
The visitors had a great chance to tie the game early in the second half, but the custodian made a fantastic save with his legs from Rodrygo.
Ramos was outstanding in keeping Madrid in the game before Sevilla scored the game-winning goal.
Under pressure from Youssef En-Nesyri in the waning minutes of the match, Alaba diverted Ocampos’ cross into his own net.
After the Andalusians let a one-goal lead slip away, Carvajal scored four minutes later on a free kick by Toni Kroos.
Vinicius pushed Nyland, sending him tumbling dramatically, setting up a final push-and-pull.
Photos of a fan making the monkey sign at Vinicius went viral in Spanish media, and the team Sevilla said they had to remove a fan for racist chants.
Pardon me Alvaro
Atletico’s prospects of winning were greatly improved when Celta custodian Ivan Villa was sent off in the middle of the first half for bringing down Atletico attacker Alvaro Morata.
Griezmann scored two more goals after being awarded a penalty, putting him in second place for goals in La Liga.
The Frenchman made a great run from his own half into the Celta area, and he scored his second when he slipped while crossing the ball and sent it flying past Guaita at the near post.
Griezmann told Movistar, “It was a cross, I wanted to cross it in, and that’s why I apologised to (Morata).”
To cap off a great night for the Rojiblancos and Diego Simeone, the attacker buried Nahuel Molina’s low cross for his hat trick.
The Argentine coach admitted that Rafa Benitez’s Celta (18) got off to a fantastic start and that, “until the penalty,” they seemed like they may damage them.
“The penalty and the red card changed things.”