Real Madrid top Sevilla 2-1

Sports Desk, May 27 (EFE).- Real Madrid tightened their grip on second place in LaLiga with a 2-1 away win Saturday over a Sevilla side who had one eye on next week’s Europa League final.

Rodrygo had a brace as the Blancos improved to 77 points, 4 points better than Atletico Madrid, who will be action Sunday against 4th-place Real Sociedad. Sevilla remain 10th in the table.

Under rainy skies in Seville, the contest at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium featured little of the intensity that typically characterizes clashes between Real Madrid and Sevilla, aside from a dangerous challenge by Marcos Acuña on Dani Ceballos that resulted in the hosts’ going down to 10 men in the 83rd minute.

While the visitors were missing several starters to injury, Sevilla coach Jose Luis Mendilibar decided to rest some key players after of Wednesday’s showdown in Budapest with AS Roma.

Sevilla jumped out to the lead in the 3rd minute with a goal by Rafa Mir, but the Blancos midfielders locked down possession and only a poor final touch by Rodrygo prevented the visitors from pulling level in the 14th minute.

The match was approaching the half-hour when Erik Lamela fouled Aurelien Tchouameni just outside the area and Rodrygo buried the free kick to make it 1-1.

Lamela nearly redeemed himself in the 36th minute, but his strike bounced off the post with Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois beaten.

The Argentine went on to fire over the cross-bar from close range in the 42nd minute.

Mir missed the target five minutes with a chance to reclaim the lead five minutes into the second half.

A poor free kick by Sevilla in the 69th minute set up a Blancos counter that culminated with Rodrygo’s second goal of the match. Though sub Alvaro Rodriguez wasted an opportunity to extend the advantage a few minutes later, the one-goal margin turned out to be enough. EFE agr/dr

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