Alvin Jones, Staff Writer
Brazilian Forward Rodrygo celebrates scoring against Sevilla Photo: Angel Fernandez/AP/dpa
It’s been a busy week in La Liga, Spain’s top division. Real Madrid, who have dominated the league up to this point, took a key step in finally winning it. Real Madrid won in dramatic fashion away at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit to third place Sevilla.
Former FC Barcelona man Ivan Rakitić opened the scoring for Sevilla in the 21st minute with an inch-perfect freekick from just outside the box. The shot from just outside the box split the Madrid wall and nestled neatly in the bottom left corner beyond Madrid keeper Thibault Courtois.
A defensive breakdown led to Sevilla’s second goal two minutes later. A longball to Marcos Acuña on the left wing was nodded onto Jesus Corona. Corona drove into the box past Madrid defender Eder Militao, before being wiped out by Courtois. The ball found its way to Erik Lamela, who tucked the ball away, 2-0 to Sevilla.
Madrid match winner Karim Benzema Photo/Juanjo Ubeda/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Backs against the wall, the champions-elect pulled off a stunning comeback in the second half. It began in minute 50. Brazilian youngster Rodrygo put away a neat bit of play started by defender Dani Carvajal. Carvajal played forward Vinicius Jr. through, Vinicus cut inside and laid the ball back off to Carvajal who passed to Rodrygo for an easy tap-in.
Later in the match, a Vinicus Jr. goal was disallowed due to a handball. In minute 82, Nacho scored after intense pressure from Madrid, putting away a low cross from Carvajal. In the 91st minute, Karim Benzema scored the winner, his 25th league goal, after calmly scoring from a Rodrgyo cut back.
Carlo Ancelloti’s Real Madrid are now inching closer to a second La Liga victory in three seasons. They are also three games away from winning the Champions League. It has been an outstanding season for Los Blancos and talisman Karim Benzema, who is making a strong case for the Ballon D’or, the award given to the game's best player every season.
Cadiz celebrate the game winning goal against giants FC Barcelona. Photo: IMAGO/CordonPress
Madrid’s eternal rivals FC Barcelona are having a much less impressive week. Following a 3-2 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt which saw them crash out of the Europa League, Barca lost to 17th placed Cadiz. This ended a 15-game undefeated streak in La Liga, dating back to December.
It was Cadiz man Lucas Perez who was the difference maker. Perez tapped in the game winner after Barca keeper Ter-Stegen parried a close-range Sobrino shot back into the direction of Perez. A defensive breakdown cost Barca the match. Barca looked dangerous at times, but were not clinical enough to score.
The game was endemic to FC Barcelona’s current state. For all their progress over the last few months, manager Xavi and Barca still have a long way to go.
Egyptian star Mo Salah celebrates against Man United Photo:Peter Powell/EPA
Finally, things are rolling along nicely for Liverpool FC. Following a 3-2 win over title rivals Manchester City in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final, Liverpool achieved a memorable 4-0 win against Man United. It was a simple affair for Liverpool, who were the better team by a wide margin.
The scoring started with new signing Luis Diaz, who put away a Mo Salah cross for the opener. Mo Salah found the net in minute 22, a low finish past De Gea, the finish of a stunning Sadio Mane cross. Mane himself would score in minute 68 before Salah added a final goal at minute 85.
For United, another tough blow. Over two games against Liverpool, United have conceded nine goals and scored none.
For Liverpool, a massive boon to their ambitions. They currently sit top of the table and in the FA Cup final, in addition to a UCL semi-final. Liverpool are a handful of games away from a potential historical quadruple. The only thing that can stop them from winning the league is Manchester City, who remain in control of their destiny. The question is, can City keep up with what looks like the best Liverpool side in years? Only time will tell.