Casemiro wonder goal lifts Real Madrid

Sunday, January 20, 2019

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MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Casemiro's stunning long-range strike and a late goal from Luka Modric earned Real Madrid a 2-0 win over Sevilla yesterday and a much-needed boost to their flailing title challenge in La Liga.

Madrid began the day 10 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, a gap that will be restored if the Catalans defeat Leganes on Sunday, but this victory should inject a timely shot of confidence.

Casemiro's bending effort in the 78th minute and Modric's injury-time finish settled a compelling contest of third against fourth but Madrid were dominant in the second half and, in the end, deserved the points.

It means they jump above Sevilla in the table and register their most impressive result in weeks, following a run of only two wins from five matches.

Madrid had been thrashed by Sevilla in September, a 3-0 defeat that triggered a run of one victory in seven games, the seventh culminating in Julen Lopetegui being sacked.

Solari sparked a brief revival but performances had slumped again. This was more like it, a purposeful display led by Modric, who played first with a bandage and then stitches to protect a cut eye.

Sevilla had gone top in November when Barca were also stuttering but doubts remain about their sturdiness under pressure. In their last 28 visits to the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou, they have now lost 27 and drawn one.


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