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Copa Argentina
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Madrid win, painfully

Madrid win, painfully

Injuries to Ramos and James. Marcelo booked and misses the derby. Sevilla were better in the first half hour.

Everything that could go wrong, went even worse. Accidents, incidents, injuries, painful blows and killer cards. Madrid won the game, but were barely smiling at the end: they’ll play the derby on Saturday without Marcelo, Sergio Ramos or James, the last two injured. Sevilla finished in an even worse state, not only did they come tantalisingly close to taking something, Beto is spending the night in hospital with a neck injury.

The game brought together so much negative energy it appeared to be being played on a Sioux cemetery. The cold, moreover, cut right through the skin. It was as if the postponement had transported the game to a cursed day. In a certain manner, the sky sent a message to the players: don’t play, leave it for another day. Nobody paid any attention.

The first 35 minutes belonged to Sevilla, with only the scoreboard holding out against them: 2-0 it read. If we extend our analysis we could say the visitors were condemned by their own errors. For the first, the defence lost sight of James, who headed freely right by Beto. For the second, Bacca fluffed a pass and set up a Madrid attack. This time Jesé beat Sergio Rico.

You will have noted the change of keeper. After half an hour, Benzema collided with Beto and left him hors de combat. The Portuguese keeper was forced to leave the pitch for the second game in a row. As happened last Saturday, 21 year old Sergio Rico came on in his stead. Exorcisms have been organised for less.

By this point, the game was already a series of catastrophic mishaps. Sergio Ramos was injured after seven minutes; James had the same luck (bad) after 20. Neither will be able to play in the derby on Saturday. Nacho and Jesé were the substitutes. The performance of the latter was the only good news, half way down the medical report. The lad has picked up where he left off a year ago.

Sevilla could have equalised at 1-1 but Iborra hit the post. Just after it was Vitolo who could have scored, but Casillas stopped him. In the same piece of action Bacca tried an overhead kick and nearly broke his back. The rate of misfortunes was constant. The rate of fouls was about the same and in this section it’s only fair to mention the tireless contribution of Krychowiak and Fernando Navarro. Marcelo , interestingly, picked up the booking which leaves him out of the derby for a foul he didn’t commit.

The goal from Iago Aspas put Sevilla back into a game in which they hardly believed at that point. Their final assault, somewhat hurried, had Madrid worried, and they pulled the curtain down, calling for the whistle. When the referee did blow, the players looked to the Sioux sky and gave thanks. For coming out alive.

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