Monday 21 May 2018

Jovetic's late strike brings Real run to a halt

Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos. Photo: Getty Images
Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos. Photo: Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Stevan Jovetic struck in added time to give Sevilla a dramatic 2-1 win over Real Madrid that ended the visitors' record-breaking unbeaten run.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 67th-minute goal from the penalty spot looked like extending Real's sensational run without losing in all competitions to 41 matches, but two goals in the closing stages condemend the visitors to defeat for the first time since April 2016.

Sergio Ramos' own goal gifted his former club a route back into the game with five minutes remaining and then substitute Jovetic struck in the second minute of stoppage time.

Real's lead at the top of the table is now down to a point, albeit with a game in hand over second-placed Sevilla, but the nature of the defeat could derail Zinedine Zidane's previously unflappable troops.

Elsewhere, Valencia beat Espanyol 2-1 to earn their first league win since October and temporarily ease tensions at the crisis-stricken club, who remain one place above the relegation zone.

Supporters staged protests against club owner Peter Lim and president Layhoon Chan before their first home league game since the resignations of coach Cesare Prandelli and sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch. Valencia, one of Spain's most successful clubs, having won La Liga six times, have had eight coaches since parting ways with Unai Emery in 2012.

Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona got back to winning ways by thrashing Las Palmas 5-0 at the Nou Camp. Lionel Messi, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal also scored for Barca, who rested Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Neymar.

In Italy, Fiorentina put a dent in Juventus' title charge with a 2-1 win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Nikola Kalinic and Federico Chiesa fired Fiorentina in front with goals in either half and, although Gonzalo Higuain got Juve back into it, the Serie A leaders could not find an equaliser.

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