Carlo Ancelotti’s late substitutions paid off as Real Madrid secured a 3-1 LaLiga win over Sevilla on Saturday.
It had initially been a tale of two former Tottenham players as Luka Modric gave Madrid a quick lead on a wet night at the Santiago Bernabeu, before Erik Lamela equalised early in the second half.
Ancelotti’s changes made all the difference though, as Lucas Vazquez restored the champions’ advantage just after coming on, with fellow substitute Marco Asensio involved in the build-up, before he also laid on an assist for Federico Valverde to seal victory.
The champions showed they could cope without Karim Benzema, who paraded his Ballon d’Or trophy on the pitch but was only a spectator due to muscular fatigue, as they moved six points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table.It took just five minutes for Madrid to take the lead, with Vinicius Junior robbing Gonzalo Montiel before racing down the left and squaring a delightful ball for Modric to tap in at the far post.
Montiel made amends for his error in the 54th minute when he dispossessed Vinicius before playing a perfect ball through to Lamela, who flicked a shot with the outside of his left foot just below the despairing right hand of Thibaut Courtois.
Ancelotti brought on Asensio and Vazquez in the 77th minute and was rewarded just two minutes later.
Asensio played a through ball to Vinicius to send him clear, before the Brazil international passed right to Vazquez, who finished with ease.
It was soon game over as another Madrid attack saw Asensio lay the ball off to the in-form Valverde, who unleashed a fierce effort from just outside the box into the top-left corner of the net to seal all three points.
What does it mean? Madrid march on
It has been a sensational start to the season for Los Blancos, winning 10 and drawing one of their 11 LaLiga games.
This was far from a routine win as Sevilla looked good value for a point before Ancelotti’s subs made a big impact.
The champions look like they will take some stopping in their quest to win the title once again.
Vinicius shines again
In the absence of Benzema, Vinicius had a big impact on the game. He claimed two assists, laying the ball on a plate twice for team-mates to tap in.
Since the start of the last season, no LaLiga player has provided more assists than him in all competitions (21).
Another slow start costs Sevilla
Although it was a relatively late show that took a point away from them and handed Jorge Sampaoli his first loss since returning as head coach, it was yet another slow start from
Sevilla that put them on the back foot.
Modric’s fifth-minute strike was the third goal they have conceded in the first 15 minutes of league games, with only Getafe (five) and Girona (four) conceding more this season.
Both are back in Champions League action on Tuesday, with Real Madrid away to RB Leipzig, while Sevilla host Copenhagen.