Real Madrid beat Sevilla 2-1 in a top of the table clash at the Santiago Bernabeu in what was a massive statement win.
Los Blancos came into the game one point clear of Atlético Madrid in second and knew that a win would put them four points and more than one game ahead of their nearest title rival (and give them a 10 point edge on struggling rivals Barcelona).
Yet for 75 minutes it didn’t look like they were going to be able to do that. They had huffed and puffed but Sevilla were the superior side; Julen Lopetegui’s men took the lead, hit the bar, had a shot cleared off the line. And even when Madrid pulled an equaliser out of nowhere thanks to a Sevilla error, the visitors were still the better side.
But in the last 15 minutes of the match, Los Blancos came alive and Vinicius Junior scored a wondergoal to give Real Madrid a late lead and a big win against a title rival. Los Blancos, the top scorers, were now four points clear.
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After the match, Casemiro made the team’s ambitions very plain. Even though it’s late November, the Brazilian midfielder said of the hard-fought win against second-place Sevilla: “that’s what you need to be able to win titles.”
Even though there are two thirds of the season still to play, Casemiro is making clear that not only are Real Madrid intent on winning La Liga but that they’ve just pulled off the exact kind of win that helps you do so.
And considering they could go seven points clear with a win against Athletic Club midweek (albeit having played a game more) it’s time to start talking about Real Madrid as heavy title favourites, rather than just contenders.