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Ronaldo double keeps Real Madrid on course for Liga title as Barcelona stay in race

Ronaldo double keeps Madrid on course for Liga title as Barca stay in race

14/05/2017 at 21:50Updated 14/05/2017 at 22:40

La Liga, Bernabeu - Real Madrid 4 (Nacho 10', Ronaldo 23' 78', Kroos 84') Sevilla 1 (Jovetic 84')

Cristiano Ronaldo hit a double to help Real Madrid to a 4-1 win over Sevilla, keeping his side as favourites to clinch La Liga ahead of Barcelona.

There were some nervy moments for Zinedine Zidane’s side, particularly after Stevan Jovetic halved the deficit from 2-0 to 2-1 at the start of the second half, but Real Madrid’s quality shone through in the end.

[REPORT: Ronaldo double keeps Real Madrid on course for Liga title as Barcelona stay in race]

Nacho Fernandez scored the opener in controversial circumstances, taking an early free kick as Sevilla prepared their wall. The referee allowed the goal to stand despite the protestations of the visitors, with Ronaldo doubling Real’s advantage before the break.

Ronaldo (Real)

Ronaldo (Real)Getty Images

Goals from Ronaldo - his 401st for the club - and Toni Kroos secured the points for the hosts after Jovetic’s strike. It means Los Blancos can leapfrog Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday night.

A first Spanish title is within their grasp with the prospect of a Liga and Champions League double on the cards if Madrid can overcome Juventus in Cardiff on June 3.

TALKING POINT - Should Nacho Fernandez’s opener have stood?

Sevilla didn’t even know what was going on when Nacho netted the opening goal of the game, taking an early free kick while the visitors still sorted out their wall. The defender appeared to talk to the referee before striking the set piece, but should he have been allowed to do that? Should the goal have been allowed to stand? Was Nacho simply being inventive?

MAN OF THE MATCH - Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid needed their big players to turn up this evening with the league title on the line, and that’s what their biggest player did, with Ronaldo taking this game by the scruff of the neck. The Portuguese has turned into the complete number nine over the past few months, with this another demonstration of his credentials as a truly exceptional striker. The transformation from number seven to number nine is complete.

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Madrid - Navas 8, Danilo 7, Ramos 6, Varane 6, Nacho 7, Kroos 7, Kovacic 7, James 6, Asensio 6, Morata 5, Ronaldo 8. Subs - Modric 5, Casemiro 5, Vazquez 5.

Sevilla - Rico 7, Mercado 6, Pareja 6, Carrico 5, Lenglet 5, Kranevitter 6, N’Zonzi 5, Vitolo 6, Vazquez 6, Correa 7, Jovetic 8. Subs - Ben Yedder 5, Montoya 6, Gonzalez 5.

KEY EVENTS

10’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla. Real Madrid have the lead and Sevilla didn't even know what was going on! Nacho took the freekick early as the visitors were setting up their wall, with the referee allowing the goal to stand.

22’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla: It's a second for Real Madrid! They flew forward on the counter attack through Asensio, with James' shot inside the box falling to Ronaldo, who applied the finishing touch from close range.

35’ JOVETIC OFF THE CROSSBAR! That would have been an exceptional goal, attempting to chip Navas from the edge of the box, but Jovetic sees his effort come bouncing off the bar.

49’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla: There's the goal to get Sevilla back into this game! Vitolo and N'Zonzi exchange passes to set up Jovetic, who does brilliantly to curl home a low finish from the edge of the box. Great finish.

78’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Sevilla: What an astonishing finish! That is incredible! Kroos fed Ronaldo, who found the back of the net with a stunning strike off the underside of the crossbar. The power that was hit with... wow!

84’ GOAL! Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla: And that will be that. Real Madrid have scored a fourth and they will claim three points from this. Nacho got down the outside and fed Kroos, who made no mistake in finding the far corner with a classy finish.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) | J.37 LaLiga Santander

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) | J.37 LaLiga SantanderGetty Images

KEY STATS

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 400th and 401st goal for Real Madrid in all competitions (391 appearances).

Nacho Fernandez scored his first direct free-kick goal with his very first attempt for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo equalled Jimmy Greaves as the all-time top-scorer in the top five European leagues (366).

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