Real Madrid ended a three-game winless streak and potentially saved Zinedine Zidane his job with a strong defensive performance and a fortunate own goal in a 1-0 victory over Sevilla.
The hosts have been nothing short of impressive at home this season, yet it was Madrid that took the game to their opponents with a number of chances to take the lead in the first half.
Junior Vinicius almost unlocked a stubborn Sevilla defence just after the 20th minute when some trickery allowed him to set up Toni Kroos, who then fired a ball towards goal and missed the right post by a few inches.
Karim Benzema also came close seven minutes before the break when the French striker latched onto a fantastic pass to find himself one-on-one with the Sevilla keeper, before his low shot was superbly saved by Bono in goals.
The hosts regathered their composure during the break and just seven minutes into the second half Luuk de Jong must have thought he’d grabbed a crucial lead when he got on the end of a cross with a shot down the middle of the goal. However Thibaut Courtois got a glove to it and knocked it away.
Madrid looked far better defensively than they had in previous matches and were afforded some good luck when a shot deflected off the Sevilla keeper in the 55th minute and bounced into the back of the net.
Lucas Ocampos came close to levelling the score five minutes from time but Courtois was once again on hand to save his side from conceding a late goal and ensuring all three points for Zidane’s side.