Sevilla’s track record at Santiago Bernabeu has not been satisfactory in recent times and thus keeping that in mind, ex-Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui decided to exhibit a bit more determination than his predecessors.  The Andalusians pressed Los Blancos from the word go like Atletico Madrid did in the finals of the Spanish Super Cup. It became tough for Los Blanco’s attackers to get into Sevilla half.

Toni Kroos and Marcelo decided to advance further than the rest but were locked down whenever they intended to enter the final third. Luka Modric tried hard to break the defensive lines while Lucas Vazquez and Luka Jovic were isolated. Meanwhile, Rodrygo Goes discovered how tough things could be when the opposition decides to lockdown hardly – Rodrygo became an unknown figure.

Real Madrid were saved by VAR in first-half when Luuke de Jong headed Sevilla ahead, but the referee disallowed the goal as before de Jong’s header Real Madrid’s centre-back Eder Militao was fouled intentionally. Otherwise, de Jong would not have had that much of space to head.

Real Madrid needed someone to step up and break the deadlock. Who else but Casemiro stepped up and provided the much-needed goal. It was quite staggering to see how Casemiro – more known for his destroying abilities at the center of the park – to bounce off two defenders and score. Even a renowned center-forward or striker would struggle to score from that sort of a position, whereas, Casemiro is a defensive midfielder. Somone like Paolo Roberto Falcao would have been extremely proud to see such a finish from fellow Brazilian.

Even though Real Madrid’s joy lasted for few minutes as de Jong equalized against the run of play – where Munir El Haddadi appeared to strike the ball with his arm in the build-up, but Casemiro scored again to restore the lead by out-jumping the Sevilla defence.

Sevilla set themselves free to score goals and Real relished that – Zinedine Zidane brought on Vinicius Junior to add momentum and he injected spark with his pace and dribbling. Sadly, the boy from Brazil still needs to improve on his finishing abilities.

But the day belonged to Casemiro, who proved yet again, for Brazil and Real Madrid, he is the most important player. Not only does he keep the backline safe, but in terms of dictating play and scoring goals to change the course of a match, the value of Casemiro is immense. His brilliant display helped the Los Blancos to stretch their unbeaten run to 91 days.

The Los Blancos haven’t lost in 17 matches since they were defeated by Real Mallorca on October 19. Since then, Zinedine Zidane’s side have played 11, won seven and drawn four in La Liga and during this brilliant run, Casemiro played a crucial whether by scoring goals or doing the task, for which he is renowned for. Without a doubt, the Brazilian is the best defensive midfielder in the world.

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