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LaLiga: Sevilla snap Madrid’s unbeaten streak thanks to Ramos’ own-goal

Sevilla Real Madrid La Liga
Sevilla's players celebrate their 2-1 victory at the end of the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid CF at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on January 15, 2017. Sevilla won 2-1. / AFP / JORGE GUERRERO (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)

It hadn’t even been a week since Sergio Ramos riled up the Sevilla support after he scored a penalty to help his side advance to the next round of the Copa del Rey, and yet, here was the Spaniard. He was back at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, he had just conceded an own-goal and he looked as though he was regretting the way he reacted to the fans of his former club just days earlier. The score now read 1-1 and the clock was just five minutes from the 90-minute mark.

Perhaps, cupping his ears wasn’t the best way to celebrate. Perhaps, karma was at work.

As I tweeted prior to Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sevilla on Sunday, I had wondered the type of treatment the former Sevilla defender would get after he claimed his taunting celebration in the second-leg of the Copa tie was due to certain fans at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan insulting his mother.

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Many will be quick to take Ramos’ side because many will sympathize with any man who stands up for their mom. But from a Sevillista standpoint, seeing Real Madrid lose their tight grip over La Liga was the goal on Sunday and the Madrid captain’s relationship with some of their support was only drama for the media.

However, the Sevilla support was in for a treat. They were going to go bed Sunday night knowing that their club was only one point off first place and that Ramos had helped them do it.

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Witnessing Ramos’ 85th-minute own-goal equalizer, at the time, was well worth the price of admission even if a draw was to be the final score. But as it happened, Sevilla wasn’t finished putting the ball past Keylor Navas. No, it was time for Stevan Jovetic to help alleviate the pain of Los Blancos eliminating them from the Copa del Rey.

With just over one minute into stoppage time, the ex-Inter forward made his way to the edge of the penalty box and curled home a ball that the Costa Rican stopper actually got a hand on:

The goal would end up being the game-winner that ended Real Madrid’s unbeaten streak at 40 games, a Spanish record they had set three days earlier. But despite their end-game meltdown, Real Madrid were close to expanding their lead atop the La Liga table and the match was different from the one we saw at the same venue days earlier. There were fewer goals this time around, but how Zinedine Zidane set up his side was quite interesting:

To the surprise of no one, Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli also went with three centre-backs:

The hosts came out looking to play their possession-based football, and they did just that, but it was Los Blancos who were a bit more threatening:

Real Madrid was content to play on the counter, using Marcelo and Dani Carvajal as wingbacks who would track back to make a backline of five when Sevilla were in possession of the ball. Furthermore, although the Real Madrid captain would later hurt his side, he and Raphael Varane were quite good in the first-half:

As the first stretch came to an end, the scoreboard read 0-0 and it was clear La Liga’s most anticipated game of the week was a tactical battle, but that wouldn’t last. After some quality chances from Marcelo and Franco Vazquez and a huge save from Keylor Navas, it would be Sergio Rico’s poor attempt to grab a 50/50 ball that would change the game:

Rico would protest the call, but it fell on deaf ears. A penalty was awarded; Cristiano Ronaldo headed to the spot and put his side ahead 1-0:

As mentioned at the start of this piece, Real’s lead wouldn’t last. The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan weren’t phased by CR7’s penalty goal and kept on singing and cheering. After the game, Sampaoli made note of how his players responded to Cristiano’s goal, per Guardian Sport:

“After the [Real] penalty the team continued playing with conviction and courage. The players won a very important game for the club. We were able to beat an undefeated team. I feel a lot of emotion, every game is important here at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.”

The Argentine manager’s praise for his side is warranted. Although they were lucky to get help from a former Sevilla player, they kept the pressure on Real Madrid until the very end. They never let the game slip away. For now, Zidane must focus on maintaining their lead, Ramos may be kept up at night by his own-goal, and Sevilla fans will know that their side is very much a contender to win the title. After all, they’re just one point behind Real Madrid with 39.

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