After a long undefeated run, Real Madrid lose for the second time in three days, falling 2-1 against Sevilla after a brilliant performance from Ivan Rakitic, and dropping to third in the table behind their two title race rivals, no longer in control of their championship hopes.
Real Madrid scored first in a dominant first half in the 14th minute off a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick. The Portuguese star fooled the referee with a small dive that earned a free kick. His shot was deflected off the wall, fooling Beto and landing in his net.
But Sevilla were woken up by that goal, and got a lot of help from Xabi Alonso with a foolish and uncharacteristic mistake, allowing Jose Antonio Reyes to set up Carlos Bacca for his first goal of the match.
The second half gave us a tense, anxious and confused Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo was at his selfish worse, even staying away from the ball at times instead of trying to be the one to push his team back to victory. Real Madrid pressed, going mostly to Marcelo on the left wing, but instead of shooting the Brazilian kept trying to find teammates in the middle of the box, resulting in turnover after turnover.
Another broken up play reached Ivan Rakitic, pulling off what might be the play of the season. The Croatian lobbed the ball above Pepe with his heel and spun around him to launch the counter attack before finding Bacca once more to put him in a one on one with Diego Lopez. Once more, the Colombian striker was the victor, scoring the winning goal.
Real Madrid pressed on but didn’t do much except for shots that went way above the crossbar, as Cristiano Ronaldo looked more and more vexed with his teammates for whatever reason. The end result? Sevilla closer to securing Europe next season and keeping alive their hopes of being in the Champions League, while Real Madrid find themselves three points behind Atletico Madrid and two behind Barcelona.