Real Madrid and Sevilla drew 2-2 in a crucial La Liga match with major implications on the title race. The match was heavily influenced by the use of the video assistant referee (VAR). There were two important decisions made by VAR which greatly impacted the match.
In the first half, Real striker Karim Benzema appeared to have put the Madrid club in the lead. However, a VAR review showed that he had been offside when attempting his header. Thus, his goal was waived off accordingly. Soon after, Sevilla would take a 1-0 lead. Brazilian midfielder Fernando scored after collecting a pass from Ivan Rakitić, then avoiding a Casemiro tackle.
It remained 1-0 in favour of Sevilla at halftime. After the break, Real created most of the chances. Thus, it came as no surprise when they scored the equalizer in the 67th minute. Marco Asensio’s fifth league goal of the season made it 1-1. However, a shocking turn of events would soon follow.
In the 75th minute, the referee initially claimed that Real Madrid had earned a penalty kick. This decision came after Sevilla goalkeeper Bono fouled Benzema in the penalty area. However, a VAR review showed that the penalty kick should have been awarded to Sevilla instead. Shortly before Benzema had been fouled, Real Madrid defender Éder Militão committed a handball inside his own team’s penalty area. The referee duly overturned his decision and awarded a spot-kick in favour of Sevilla. Croatian midfielder Rakitić stepped forward to take the penalty. He scored, putting Sevilla 2-1 ahead.
However, four minutes into stoppage time, just when it looked as if Real were set to lose, Eden Hazard scored the equalizing goal, tying it at 2-2. The match would finish that way. It was an extremely important goal which kept Real Madrid in contention for the La Liga title. A loss would have seen them slip three points behind league leaders and cross-town rivals Atlético Madrid.
Hazard’s goal also served as redemption after a week during which he had received heavy criticism from many Real fans. After Real’s Champions League semifinal loss to Chelsea, Hazard had been seen joking around with Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma. The act irritated many of Real’s fans; these fans assumed that Hazard had not been taking the match seriously.
After the Champions League incident, Hazard took to Instagram to apologize to Real Madrid fans. “I’m sorry,” he wrote. “I’ve read lots of opinions about me today and it was not my intention to offend the Real Madrid fans. It has always been my dream to play for Real Madrid and I came here to win. The season is not over and together we must now battle for La Liga.”
With three matchdays remaining, Real are second in the league with 75 points. Atlético have 77 while Barcelona are in third place, also with 75 but trailing Real on head-to-head record.
10th May 2021 12:37
This article brought to you by Legacy Times 传城时代