Sevilla – Real Madrid, Part 3: The Reckoning

One of my least favorite sports cliches is the idea that every important or difficult game is a final. Marca calls today’s game “the first final”, which is just…ugh. But I agree this is the most important of the three matches against Real Madrid in 2017, for both teams: I’m sure RM would rather win a triplete than a doblete, so to that extent the Copa matters, but on the other hand they could do without the distraction and fatigue, and the other titles they’re playing for matter more. Ditto Sevilla, who will be more interested in a deeper drive into the Champions League and an automatic qualification to next year’s Champions (or maybe more?!) from La Liga than in adding to their CdR trophy haul.

So this is the game that matters, and will have the strongest lineups, etc. And if math and my analysis are right, we’re in for a treat: 3–0 > 3–3 > …obviously the most likely result today is a 3–0 Sevilla win. Everyone bookmark this page so you can link to my prescience in the glorious post-match pandemonium.

Anyway, should be a really exciting game, even if my prediction doesn’t come through. I’m looking forward to seeing it, and to seeing you all here.

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Comments 58

  1. Rico
    Mariano Rami Pareja Escudero
    Iborra Nzonzi
    Mudo Nasri Vitolo
    Ben Yedder

    Back to 2 CBs. Not a fan.

  2. Real Madrid experimenting with a 3-5-2 tho


    1. Fearing of a total annihilation, even worse than the first leg match in CDR. They will dominate the midfield and keep a high possession… which will probably prove to be fatal to us.

      Why can’t we play with 3 at the back vs. top teams?

  3. Ahhhh FFS! First Sampaoli states that it is “dumb” to change the 3 CB’s formation, as it is the formula to success… and he was annihilated against an even weaker RM than tonight, with our full team with 2 CB’s…. yet he again uses 2 freaking CB’s…. can’t understand this crap.

    Why not go for the 3 CB’s formation? The team (the first team that is) is clearly more comfortable with 3 defenders…. this is really not something that I expected from Samp…. hopefully he’ll prove us wrong and do something in this match, but my optimism is sinking with this constant formation change crap.

  4. South American coaches are genius but sometimes they make decision that Noone including them can understand.

  5. Feel tired after watching Liverpool vs Man united match , wham wham end to end football , i hope i’ve energy left to see my beloved Sevilla and i don’t pass out.

  6. Sampaoli’s statement from the translation on Google, after the first CDR leg match vs. RM:

    “Playing with 3 at the back is the best for us. We are not accustomed to playing with 2 at the back, the team feels more comfortable and suits the team better with 3 at the back. For the first match vs. RM, we couldn’t play with 3 as Carrico and Pareja were not available (one recovering from surgery and the other having some discomfort). Now that we have Lenglet we can play with 3 at the back”.

    It is not word by word translation, but the translated statement from Sampaoli before the second match vs. RM. So why the hell can’t you play a 3 at the back formation… which clearly works better… vs. top teams, in matches that actually matter?

    Very frustrated with this decision.

  7. Another frustrating for me is Iborra doesn’t do anything as a CM but is good in final third, this team would’ve been a monster if we had Kyrchowiak Shielding our defense and Nzonzi and Nasri feeding our attackers. Hope for the best man.

    1. The only thing I like about Iborra is that he gives 100%, especially in important matches and lately he is acting like a true captain by motivating the team and keeping the fighting spirit up. He is also dangerous with headers and as you said, is good in the final third. In overall as a CM he lacks the skills, especially as a DM, but, he’s at least not lazy to make a couple of tackles and get yellows when necessary… unlike his chicken-legs colleague, Kranevitter.

      However, the management must really opt for bringing a typical DM to the squad. Anyone would be a better option than Kranevitter… then we can keep Iborra safely on the bench. Iborra can’t be a starter in this team where everyone else is miles ahead skills-wise. But anyway, at least Kranevitter’s not playing so that’s a positive to start with.

  8. I just hope that we won’t play with 2 at the back vs. Leicester. Getting thrashed and eliminated by the disastrous Leicester that they are this season… would be a real shame.

  9. I think we will dominate possession with this lineup; but I”m worried about getting killed on the counter. Our back two have to be super aware and Iborra can’t get too far forward.

    1. Just know that this is not a 3-5-2 of Granada that stays 5-4-1 for most of the time. You will have Ramos and Varane as deep as the center of the midfield most likely and Marcelo with Carvajal will not stop providing crosses for Cristina and Benzema. The counters are nothing, I’m fearing that our midfield will simply not keep up with their pressure and we will collapse.

  10. I’m happy with that so far! As Real Madrid were very strong that half! However, we defended great and kept them out. We need to do more going forward but we still got time and got options on bench. However, credit to them they very tough to break down. A real tactical battle but all to play for and we got cards still to play!

  11. Phew…. what a high-intensity match. This is why La Liga is the best league ever. It’s another thing to run endlessly and not have some decent play, and another thing playing beautifully like this, especially by our team tonight.

    Seems that RM’s 3-5-2 is not working that well, or at least not how they planned for it to work. I expect Zizou to make some tactical changes during the second half… which might hurt us if we play too openly like in the first half. Even though, our defense is pretty solid tonight and beside those two shots from Cristina (1 almost went in as it was close but he didn’t hit it well), they’ve had no other threat whatsoever.

    We really need to start capitalizing our own actions and scoring chances. Don’t know what’s the matter with those low-energy shots from our players, outside the box…. but we need a leading goal as soon as possible, or else the motivation will fall.

    Taking the foot off the pedal would not be wise, and now, we don’t have to think for the CDR, so we can focus 100% in La Liga until CL calls. Hopefully the players will be able to handle this high intensity… it’s really breath-taking and exciting to watch.

    Ramos getting booed whenever he touches the ball… that is music to the ears!

    If we keep it up like in the first half, with total domination, we might even win this one. The referee’s been quite fair so far for both sides, decent refereeing but I might jinx it so lets say ‘not bad’ refereeing in the first half.

    Not sure if bringing in Jovetic would be a good idea, as Ben Yedder is doing very well up there. There’s not much that I would change really, except keeping it up and even a draw would be great against this highly talented RM, especially in defense (Casemiro’s a beast!).


    1. “Phew…. what a high-intensity match. This is why La Liga is the best league ever. It’s another thing to run endlessly and not have some decent play, and another thing playing beautifully like this, especially by our team tonight.”

      Exactly, the score not reflective of what a great game this is, Sevilla’s passing has been beautiful.

  12. Did N’Zonzi get a yellow there after that anger moment shooting the ball, or the referee ‘forgave’ him?

    Flashscore showing N’Zonzi and Iborra on yellows… not sure if N’Zonzi got one though.

  13. Can’t believe this….. thank you Sevilla, thank you N’Zonzi, thank you horseface Ramos for that own goal… thank you JOJO…. thank you Sarabia, thanks to all the players and congrats to all Sevillistas around the world!!!!


    1. I have just calmed down enough to type! what an incredible victory, I always had the faith we would get back to 1-1, but 2-1 was beyond my wildest dreams

      I love this club!

  14. Would have been happy with a point after going down a goal but wow, Sevilla was relentless in their attack the last 10 minutes. What a game!

    Third time they have broken a RM undefeated streak?

  15. What an unbelievable finish. We can beat anyone on our day. What a great winner. Totally brilliant tonight. Top drawer guys. Doesn’t get much better than this in the league..

    1. agreed Mark, most clubs would have settled for a 1-1 draw and maybe lost in the last seconds, but we threw caution to the wind and went for the win

  16. At least 1 points vs. Osasuna next week and we break the record of the best first round ever in the history of the club. What an exciting time to be a Sevilla fan…. God bless us!

  17. @Jonathan exactly we have a great mentality. We went for it and it paid off!

    @Shendm hopefully we go one better than that and win at osasuna and break that record in style.

    They bottom so why not? However, I not counting my chickens after the Granada fiasco, however right now we are the strongest we ever been with fully fit squad and new players with Jovetic our new hero! Haha

    Vamos Sevilla! 🙂

    1. Agreed about Osasuna Mark, we need to be careful there.

      Really unbelievable how Man City and Inter threw a gem like Jovetic off, just like that. We definitely need to use the purchasing option if he keeps this up, and tie him at the club with an astronomic release clause.

      This team is close to perfect and can achieve high things. Give us a proper defensive midfielder and we will be unstoppable!

  18. Fuck yes! Was watching on delay! We got the one that mattered!!! Screw your Ronaldo! Screw you Ramos! Screw your mierda!!! We were the better team and deserved the win!

    Huge huge huge result. So proud. What heart courage belief and fantastic football!!

    1. agreed, they won the cup games, but we won the game that mattered most

      well played Sampaoli and Sevilla, well played indeed

  19. Ok now after the head is cooler, hats off to Sampaoli for the tactics and especially for the subs (Sarabia, Jojo) who won us the match.

    Flashscore showing 59-39 possession for Sevilla and 4 shots on goal for us while 3 for RM. This is very obvious, we dominated RM and were better than them, thus deserved this victory and huge 3 points tonight.

    From this day on… I will never doubt Sampaoli’s formation and/or tactics. As long as Kranevitter is out of the sight (in important matches), everything else is good.

    It seems that we are going to battle for the La Liga title till the end. In an interview recently, Mudo said that the atmosphere within the team is great and most of the guys believe that Sevilla can actually do it this season. If we keep up this pace, it definitely would be possible, but the only thing that I fear, as always, is the bribed referees, both from RM and Barca, making it harder for us to repeat an “Atletico scenario”.

    Next week vs. Osasuna, we will put an end to a historical first round. Pretty sure we’re going to win that one, though maybe not with ease, but anyway… we will break that record, and it would be wonderful if we can at least keep the second spot till the Leicester clashes.

    Now we can rest assured and wait the next match with the calmest mind ever as Sevillistas. The market will be open for 2 more weeks and perhaps we will sign another player. Exciting days to be a fan of this beautiful team.


  20. Ok, this is a shame for RFEF and Uncle Perez once again. Even though the main referee handled the game pretty well in overall… a penalty or a big favor had to come, do or die!

    This is a blatant proof that the main referee favored RM by giving them a non-existent penalty, and not consulting the linesman who had the best, clear view.

    The linesman moreover, is captured in the video by making a no-no-no head gesture and even saying it in the microphone as it seems.



  21. Nothing unusual there.. they should just start Real and Barca with a 1-0 lead every game then referee fairly.

    What an incredible finish to the game and Jovetic.. wow. We have one he’ll of a player now. Exactly what we have been missing.

    We are coming for you Madrid, I’m glad they won the copa because now we can throw everything at two competitions and gives us every chance to do the impossible.

    What a result.. happy days.


  22. Very pleased with the performance, my man Nzozni what a player you’ve become , you’re a perfect CM, top 5in the world now. You’re everywhere from defending to creating chances. Take a bow . Only complain is we yield very less goals from the chances we create. Our players need to shoot with power and give better short pass in box, look at Madrid how they attack , one player will give pass from wing and 5-6 players will be in opposition box , while in our case 4-5 players will be on wing while 1-2 in box.

  23. I told u guys at the beginning of the season that Sevilla will challenge for the title.Thesame words came out of my mouth about atletico.i just need preseason to see. Nzonzi is the man.

  24. Correa will be out for 2 weeks after that injury in the second leg of CDR.

    Vitolo will have some tests but feared to miss out on 3-4 weeks of action due to a hamstring issue, which doesn’t sound good.