26 January 2011
Fernando Porrero / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid pulled through despite the hostile atmosphere they found waiting for them in Seville. They also proved matches are won with good football, not with with advertisements. Benzema played a key role and proved to be a great striker, netting the winner and giving the team the upper hand in the semifinals.
Mourinho lined up Lass instead of Di Maria to level his team's chances against Sevilla's physical strength in midfield. Real Madrid kept Zokora and Romaric in check, and smothered Kanoute. Sevilla had the initiative at the start, but the Madridistas soon pulled rank and started to control the game. On the 17-minute mark, Ozil passed the ball to Benzema half-way into Sevilla's half of the pitch. The Frenchman then dribbled past Alexis inside the box and defeated goalkeeper Palop with a nutmeg. Benzema's spectacular goal shut the crowd up and all hostilities ceased with it.
Sevilla started to feel the pressure of losing the match and played a hasty game. Mourinho's men showcased impeccable tactical discipline and hardly suffered in defence. During injury time, Luis Fabiano defeated Casillas and shot on target, but the ball was cleared in extremis by Albiol just on the goal-line (46'). The referee decided not to allow the strike despite Sevillas' protests. Truth be told, analysing the the shot from every angle does not help to clear if the ball went in or not.
Real Madrid used the open spaces left by the locals for lethal counterattacks through Carvalho (from a header) and Cristiano Ronaldo. The latter defeated Palop in a one-on-one, but the ball stayed behind him as he moved forward. Then, Ozil was a little too confident as he tried to kick it into the goal because Alexis had enough time to clear his shot practically on the goal-line (79').
Sadly, as soon as the match ended, someone from the crowd threw a plastic bottle on the pitch and hit Casillas. The goalkeeper fell on the ground and had to be attended. Fortunately, nothing serious happened, but this should not go unpunished. It was a disgraceful end to a good match. A real shame.
|Di María 70'|