2018-2019 Spanish Primera División
  • Casemiro (78')
  • Luka Modric (90'+2')

Real Madrid beat Sevilla to strengthen Champions League hopes

Real Madrid midfielders Casemiro and Luka Modric struck late to earn a 2-0 home win over Sevilla as Santiago Solari's stuttering side leapfrogged the Andalusians into third spot in La Liga.

Brazilian Casemiro unleashed a stinging shot from outside the area which was too powerful for outstretched goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik, giving the European champions a deserved lead in the 78th minute after they dominated the second half.

Teenage forward Vinicius Jr was again Madrid's most dangerous outlet and had come close to breaking the deadlock with a scooping shot that just crept wide of the post before Casemiro finally broke the deadlock.

Dani Ceballos, the match-winner in last week's scrappy 2-1 victory at Real Betis, had also earlier hammered the bar as Madrid took the game by the scruff of the neck at a rainy and cold Santiago Bernabeu after a drab first half of few chances.

Modric finally sealed the victory in stoppage time with a cool finish, giving Solari's team a second straight win after their poor start to 2019.

"Modric was outstanding today, taking into account he had a big cut over his eye, and spent the entire 15 minutes of half time on a stretcher in the dressing-room getting it stitched up," Madrid coach Solari said.

"He is a warrior, that he ends the game scoring the goal tells you his spirit, and that of the team. The players gave everything today, it was a very complete game in all respects."

He added the three points were well deserved and showed his team were on the right path.

"We knew we had to find a way through some way, and Sevilla defend very well, have been all season," Solari said. "We insisted in the second half until the goal came. Sometimes the ball does not go in, and you draw the game, but this today was the right path to win games.

"We are missing a lot of players at the moment, injured or returning from injuries, and we need them back. But we showed our competitive spirit, in difficult circumstances.

"Last week was also complete in its way, we won in a difficult stadium [2-1 at Real Betis]. We will try and keep this going, today has a big value as we were playing a good team having a great season, it is more than three points as against a direct rival."

Madrid climbed to third on 36 points, three ahead of Sevilla who have failed to win in their last four league outings, while Barca, who host Leganes on Sunday, are top with 43.

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Barcelona 15 +23 34
2 Real Madrid 15 +21 34
3 Sevilla FC 16 +5 31
4 Real Sociedad 16 +8 27
5 Getafe 16 +8 27
6 Athletic Bilbao 16 +7 26
7 Atletico Madrid 16 +6 26
8 Valencia 16 +3 26
9 Granada 16 +3 24
10 Osasuna 16 +4 23
11 Real Betis 16 -5 22
12 Levante 16 -5 20
13 Villarreal 16 +4 19
14 Real Valladolid 16 -4 19
15 Alavés 16 -6 18
16 Eibar 16 -13 15
17 Mallorca 16 -12 14
18 Celta Vigo 16 -11 13
19 Leganes 16 -16 9
20 Espanyol 16 -20 9