Sevilla beats Real Madrid 1-0

Real were beaten 1-0 by Sevilla in a half-empty Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday night.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Real Madrid hosted Sevilla at the Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday night with recently retired rally legend Carlos Sainz in attendance. The home side were looking for a win that would see them keep pace with Spanish Primera Liga leaders Barcelona, who beat Levante 2-1 on Tuesday. Michael Owen created a chance to add to his six league goals in the 16th minute, but shot straight at Sevilla goalkeeper Esteban. The visitors took the lead three minutes later. A defensive clearance was headed into the path of Julio Baptista and the Brazilian outpaced out of form defender Walter Samuel before clinically lifting the ball past Iker Casillas. Real's defence was in disarray for most of the match and only Casillas' efforts kept the Merengues in the game - a save with his feet after a neat one-two between Daniel and Carlitos typical of the Spanish international's performance. Newly appointed director of football Arrigo Sacchi looked on from the stands and the Italian would have been far from impressed with the side's display. Real's fans were hoping that their dazzling array of attacking stars could get them back into the match, but a curling Luis Figo effort was the closest that the y would come to equalising in the first half. Having put his side ahead, Baptista should have added to his tally of eight La Liga goals after halftime. The Brazilian cut through the heart of the Real defence in the 55th minute, only to steer his shot wide of Casillas' left hand post. Baptista was awarded the freedom of the Real penalty area once again ten minutes later, but this time found Casillas equal to his effort. With Real starting the game 13 points behind league leaders Barca, it was imperative that Mariano Garcia Remon's side took something from the game. It looked as though second half substitute Ronaldo had levelled the score after he forced his way through Sevilla's determined defence. However, the Brazilian's goal was disallowed as Raul had been offside and was deemed to be interfering with play. Real's fans made their feelings known as Sevilla handed their hosts a fifth defeat of the season and picked up their first victory at the Bernabeu in 19 years. Sevilla climb up into third place in the standings after winning the final game before the traditional winter break 1-0, and forced Real down into fifth. (AP)