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Bale, Benzema, Cristiano and Keylor


Another big win at the Bernabéu. This time the victim was an impaired Sevilla who started well but evaporated as soon as the first goal went in - a pearl between Bale and Benzema. It was strange to see Sevilla de-activate in such a fashion, a team with fighting spirit in their DNA, and to see such a disorganised defence. It was their excellent goalkeeper Sergio Rico who kept the team alive for a long time in this one. Time enough for Sevilla to equalize twice. The first came from the penalty spot, Keylor Navas stopping Gameiro's penalty; the second Gameiro found the net, but the linesman raised his flag - incorrectly.

With Sevilla's vaporising challenge, it was time to marvel at the brilliance of Bale and Benzema, to applaud Casemiro, around whom everything seems to work better, and to stand with the ovation for Keylor Navas, called into action more as the match came to a close, with Madrid losing concentration. All things considered, with the three great strikers Real Madrid have (Cristiano not quite at his heights, but still himself) and Keylor in goal, Madrid may still have something to say in the Champions League. Of course, the three up front will have to track back and work for the team, which they haven't been doing until now. That work would be worth it, considering how little is left in the season.

The game was poorly refereed, similar to El Madrigal, where the fans were furious at half-time. Luckily, Villareal drew level, there's no telling what might have happened if they hadn't. Now that our games are being watched worldwide, as Tebas is so proud of saying, these referees are more embarrassing that ever. Not all, of course, but there are a few who are not up to standard. The problem is deeply ingrained: the best refs don't get promoted by their respective organisations, but rather the ones who know how move within their local territorial circles. A bit, if you'll forgive the poor analogy, like politicians within their parties.