A sizzling late strike from Vinicius Junior rescued a 2-1 victory for Real Madrid over Sevilla on Sunday night at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

The visitors from Andalusia enjoyed the better start and were ahead early through a Rafa Mir header before Karim Benzema brought the hosts level by taking advantage of a mistake from Sevilla goalkeeper Bono. For large parts of the match, Real Madrid were flat, but some late magic was summoned by Vinicius to earn the three points.

Carlo Ancelotti rolled out his strongest starting XI possible, with the only tweak being Marco Asensio back in for Rodrygo Goes on the right-hand side of attack, while David Alaba was a surprise inclusion after picking up a minor knee injury in the midweek Champions League clash at Sheriff.

It was a sluggish start from Real Madrid and Sevilla were good value for their early 1-0 lead when a corner kick was swung in and Rafa Mir, unmarked and with all the time in the world, steered a header into the net for a 0-1 Sevilla lead.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was called on to make a save just minutes later to prevent Rafa Mir from scoring a second, provoking more nervous murmurs from the Bernabeu faithful.

Outside of a Vinicius effort that was saved by Bono, Real Madrid’s sleepwalking continued and Lucas Ocampos was unlucky not to have scored when a curling right-footed smacked off the crossbar.

But lady luck would smile on Los Blancos, as an error from Bono on an Eder Militao effort from distance allowed Benzema to swoop in and turn the ball into the net to pull Real Madrid level at 1-1.

Real Madrid were passive to start the second half, content to sit back and allow Sevilla to spray the ball around, but they came to life when Asensio sent a shot towards a goal that fizzed just wide of the post.

Ancelotti went to his bench later than expected, with Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga replacing Asensio and Luka Modric, as Real Madrid began their habitual late push for a winning goal at the Bernabeu’s urging.

An Alaba volley came close to doing the trick, but it was a magical strike from Vinicius that ultimately produced the match-winner. The Brazilian collected a cross-field pass from Militao and did the rest, jinking past a couple of Sevilla defenders before rocketing a right-footed effort into the top right corner of net to deliver the 2-1 victory.


Courtesy: MARCA

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