Sevilla's impressive 35 game unbeaten home run was brought to an end by Real Madrid on Saturday evening.
It was close fought contest, with Sevilla producing a strong comeback after going 2-0 down within the first 40 minutes. All three of Real's goals came courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese frontman beating Alfredo Di Stefano's record of 28 Los Blancos hat-tricks by scoring his 29th on the night.
The Ronaldo show
Ronaldo netted twice in the space of a minute to give Real a lead before half time. That lead was halved by a Carlos Bacca penalty soon after though and, after seeing Barcelona ease to a 8-0 win earlier in the day, many Real fans may have been concerned with the score at 2-1.
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The key moment in the first-half came when Sergio Ramos collided with Grzegorz Krychowiak in an aerial battle. The Sevilla man was forced to come off the pitch to receive treatment for a bloodied nose. Without his presence in the midfield Sevilla struggled and Madrid began to take control.
The first goal came from a break through the midfield, with Ramos playing it to Marcelo, who in turn then played the ball wide to Isco. The Spaniard then crossed the ball into the box from the byline and Ronaldo added the finishing touch, putting the ball in the back of the net.
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Sevilla were desperate to get their player back onto the pitch, but before they could do so Madrid struck again.
This time Colombian James Rodriguez was the provider of the cross for Ronaldo. His chip from the right-hand side was flicked on by the in-form Javier Hernandez, leaving Ronaldo to poke the ball home after losing his man.
Everything seemed comfortable for Real at this point, but things took a turn for the worse when Ramos had a moment of madness and gave away a penalty. Bacca stepped up to convert the spot-kick and add more nerves to the atmosphere.
The away side started the second-half well but struggled to create any clear cut chances. The advantage was eventually restored to two goals midway through the second half via a Bale-Ronaldo link-up. Real brought the ex-Spurs star on for Hernandez and the Welshman had a big effect on the game as he crossed for Ronaldo to complete his hat-trick via a smart back-post header.
Sevilla did manage to pull another goal back through Iborra. Kevin Gameiro linked up well with Vidal down the right and the ball was cut back by the latter for Iborra to place past Iker Casillas.
Eleven minutes remained on the clock for Real to hang on for the win and ensure they kept themselves on the heels of Barcelona. Both goalkeepers were tested in the latter stages, with Casillas being the busier of the two, making two key saves from Gameiro and Iborra to keep the title race alive.
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