Real Madrid battle to controversial draw at Sevilla


Carvajal header earns Real Madrid draw vs. Sevilla

Real Madrid earn a 1-1 draw at Sevilla after a late Dani Carvajal earns a point for the LaLiga leaders.

A late header from captain Dani Carvajal secured Real Madrid a 1-1 draw at Sevilla on Saturday as the LaLiga leaders battled back after David Alaba's own goal had given the hosts the lead.

Madrid moved on to 25 points from 10 games, three ahead of Girona, the surprise package of the season who host bottom side Almeria on Sunday. Barcelona, third on 21 points, face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

It was a feisty affair in Seville, as a frustrated Real were thwarted by two early disallowed efforts following contentious refereeing decisions.

Madrid players and manager Carlo Ancelotti complained to the referee repeatedly in the first half; first when he ruled out an early Federico Valverde strike for an offside in the build-up; then when Jude Bellingham had the ball in the net but the referee said he had already stopped play so a Sevilla player could receive medical attention; and also when they claimed Jesús Navas had fouled Vinicius Junior in the box but the referee saw no infringement.

After praising the referee in his press conference, Ancelotti admitted he was trying to avoid a suspension.

"Irony is the only way. If I say what I think about the refereeing I'll get a [ban of a] lot of games," Ancelotti, who was shown a yellow card for complaining, told Real Madrid TV. "I like to sit on the Real Madrid bench, so to avoid a ban I don't say what I think, and I use irony."  

Vinícius Júnior and Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Sevilla and former Madrid hero Sergio Ramos.
Vinícius Júnior and Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Sevilla and former Madrid hero Sergio Ramos.
Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Sevilla then started to fight back into the match and almost scored as Carvajal made a goal-line clearance to keep out an Ivan Rakitic strike.

Defender Sergio Ramos, facing the club where he made his name for the first time since rejoining his childhood team, made a crucial goal-line clearance of his own to help Sevilla keep the game level before halftime.

The second half was all about the goalkeepers, with both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Orjan Nyland making brilliant saves to keep their sides in contention.

Sevilla's Nyland made a brilliant reflex save to deny a Rodrygo point-blank strike early on, and Real's Kepa palmed round the post a fine Ivan Rakitic strike from range.

But Real went behind after an own goal by defender Alaba as he challenged forward Youssef En Nesyri in the 74th minute.

Carvajal levelled the score four minutes later, however, with a towering close-range header from a Toni Kroos cross.

The match became increasingly tense, with five bookings in the final minutes following a couple of scuffles.

"It was an even, competitive game with intensity," Ancelotti said in his news conference afterward. "We started well but didn't take the chances we had. In the second half Sevilla played well, with intensity. The result seems right to be. It was a draw, we tried, Sevilla tried."

He added: "In the first half Rodrygo and Vinicius [Junior] with the support of the team created a lot of chances, we were close to scoring. The second half was more difficult, we lacked a bit of energy, we suffered a bit more and we didn't have the control we wanted."

Shortly after the game, Sevilla said it had expelled a fan from its stadium and filed a complaint with police after the spectator allegedly displayed "xenophobic and racist behavior." Sevilla did not specify what the behavior was, or any intended target.

ESPN's Alex Kirkland, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.