Real Madrid came out on top in an extraordinary 10-goal thriller as they rebounded from their Claisco defeat to blast past Sevilla 7-3. In a match of constant incident, there was a hat-trick for Cristiano Ronaldo and two goals each for Gareth Bale, in his first start at the Bernabeu, and Karim Bezema.
It was also a game that featured three penalties and a late sending off for Sevilla’s Stephane Mbia. Such fireworks looked a distant prospect when Madrid roared into a three-goal lead in just a little more than 30 minutes. Bale it was who stole the show early on.
The Welshman has faced much doubt and criticism since his big-money summer move, not least after his performance in the 2-1 loss to Barcelona at the weekend. Some of those critics will be, at least, temporarily silenced as he got a perfect boost with two goals inside 27 minutes. First, Benzema pulled the ball back intelligently and Bale worked the ball onto his favored left foot before blasting a shot into the top corner. The second was not long in coming. Taking advantage of a rare chance to replace Ronaldo on free-kick duty, Bale’s effort struck the top of the wall and deflected past Beto in the Sevilla goal.
Madrid were on a role when Isco was adjudged to have been brought down by Fernando Navarro just inside hte box and Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot. The Portuguese also took time to send a message to FIFA president Sepp Blatter with his celebration. At that point, the idea of Madrid’s lead being cut to just one heading into the half-time break was far-fetched.
Yet, Sevilla deserve plenty of credit for their refusal to submit to defeat. They got a penalty of their own in the 38th minute when Sergio Ramos bundled down Diogo in the box and Ivan Rakitic converted from the spot. Two minutes later Sevilla had real hope of getting something from the game when Carlos Bacca slid in to convert a low cross inside the six-yard box.
Instead Madrid poured forward to devastating effect and regain control early in the second half. Bale twice laid goals on a plate with right-wing crosses, first setting up Benzema and then Ronaldo to reestablish Madrid’s two-goal lead.
Again Sevilla continued to make the match a contest. Rakitic got his second of goal with a delightful placed shot into the top corner from the edge of the box. Things might have been different had it not been for some excellent saves by Diego Lopez, but in the end the home side’s pace and creativity proved just too devastating for a Sevilla side that refused to shut down Madrid’s counter attacks. Another break led to Benzema setting up Ronaldo to score a deflected striker for his hat-trick. When Mbia was given a second yellow 14 minutes from the end, the game was up. All that was left was for Benzema to head home and take the score line into double figures late on.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.