Real Madrid move closer to title


Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema struck a last-gasp winner as the visitors recovered from two goals down to beat title rivals Sevilla 3-2 in a thrilling LaLiga clash on Sunday that took Carlo Ancelotti’s side a step closer to winning the title.

The victory means Real now have a 15-point lead at the top over closest rivals Barcelona, who have two games in hand, Sevilla in third and fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who earlier beat Espanyol 2-1, with six rounds of matches remaining.

Benzema fired home two minutes into added time after Rodrygo and Nacho Fernandez had pulled Real level to cancel out Sevilla’s 2-0 halftime lead through goals from Ivan Rakitic and Erik Lamela at a packed Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

“Everyone is waiting for Real Madrid to stumble, but Real Madrid don’t stumble because we have heart and character. LaLiga is not finished, but we have taken a big step,” said Ancelotti.

It was a tale of two halves as Sevilla dominated the first but disappeared after the break, in a match that was marked by several controversial decisions by referee Guillermo Cuadra.

He did not give a penalty for what looked to be a clear handball by Sevilla defender Diego Carlos after 17 minutes, and then declined to show Real’s Eduardo Camavinga a second yellow card for a foul from behind on Antony Martial in the 37th.

The referee also disallowed Vinicius Jr’s equaliser for Real for a marginal handball decision in the 78th minute, sticking by his call after being sent to the pitchside monitor by VAR.

“We did it even after a lot of controversy because we don’t understand how the ref can call a handball by Vinicius and not call it for Diego Carlos,” Ancelotti told a news conference.