Real Madrid came through a close encounter against Sevilla in a 2-1 win with midfielder Casemiro scoring both goals.
Zinedine Zidane’s side still sit in 2nd place in La Liga but are on the same points tally as leaders and arch-nemesis Barcelona.
Los Blancos came into the match as 4/7 favourites having won their last three games in all competitions with Sevilla being 17/4 to pull an upset despite being 4th in the league.
Madrid started the game quite slowly as they were unable to break past a resilient Sevilla backline. They were unable to muster up any shots from inside the box in the first half with their four shots all coming from distance.
Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui, who was let go by Los Merengues at the end of October, was left fuming after Luuk de Jong’s 30th-minute header was chalked off by VAR.
The Dutchman was able to free himself from Madrid defender Eder Militao and expertly converted Ever Banega’s pinpoint corner past a hapless Thibaut Courtois.
However, during the VAR check, the referee had decided that Militao was fouled in the box by Nemanja Gudelj and thus the goal was not able to stand.
The second half provided a lot more action than the first with Zidane’s side slowly getting into the match.
Summer signing Luka Jovic has had a tough time in Spain so far but his superb backheel played in Casemiro who lifted it with finesse past the goalkeeper to give Madrid the opening goal in the 57th minute.
It only took Sevilla 7 minutes to reply as de Jong was not to be denied a second time. The striker cut in on his left foot and whipped a low strike into the bottom left-hand corner.
Lopategui’s side were only level for five minutes as Casemiro doubled his tally for the evening. The Brazillian nodded home a great Lucas Vasquez cross to make it 2-1 in the 69th minute.
The midfield trio consisting of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos all had great chances to put the fixture beyond doubt with Kroos’ chance being the best one of the lot.
Vinicius Junior skipped past a defender to cut it back to the German only for his sweeping effort to be saved by Tomáš Vaclík.
The scoreline remained 2-1 with Madrid going up against Real Valladolid next whereas Sevilla welcome Granada.