Timid Real crash to Sevilla in second defeat of season

MADRID - Spanish leaders Real Madrid crashed to their second defeat of the season on Saturday - 2-0 at resurgent Sevilla.

MADRID - Spanish leaders Real Madrid crashed to their second defeat of the season on Saturday - 2-0 at resurgent Sevilla.

Sevilla won thanks to early goals from Seydou Keita and Luis Fabiano and again showed that there is indeed life after Juande Ramos.

Real, who had defender Sergio Ramos sent off, will stay on top despite the defeat, though their lead could be cut by late yesterday (Sunday) to just one point.

The whites now have 25 points from 11 games, four more than Barcelona, Villarreal and Valencia.

Yesterday, Barca were at home to lowly Betis and Villarreal are at fifth-placed Atletico Madrid.

Earlier on Saturday, Valencia ended their crisis with a 2-0 win at Mallorca, with veteran hitman Fernando Morientes scoring both goals.

Sevilla move up to 10th with 15 points.

Real have not won in Sevilla's Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan for five years and were shipping water right from the start.

After just two minutes, Frederic Kanoute almost put the lively hosts ahead.

In the 19th minute, Keita broke the deadlock with a blistering left-foot drive from outside the area, which left Real keeper Iker Casillas helpless.

Just three minutes later, the score was 2-0, with the Real defence in tatters. Casillas had blocked a shot from Kanoute, only for Luis Fabiano to put away the rebound.

The visitors never looked capable of spoiling the party, especially after Ramos picked up a second yellow card for a needless foul on Diego Capel.

It was a brusque, bad-tempered clash, with no less than 10 yellow cards being shown.

Sevilla played on the break in the second half, soaking up Real's timid pressure and hitting the leaders on the break.

Luis Fabiano and Jesus Navas both squandered good chances to add to their lead, as Real were forced to take risks and leave Casillas exposed.

"We should have scored more goals tonight," said Luis Fabiano. "But the important thing is that we have won and are getting back into form." - Sapa-DPA

X