Real Madrid‘s 100% start to the season came to an end at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán as Sevilla made it seven victories in a row in all competitions. Missing several of their star names, Real were comprehensively outplayed in the first half and went behind to Jesús Navas’ 33rd-minute header.
Pepe equalised against the run of play but Renato headed a deserved winner in the 67th minute to draw Sevilla level on points with Real and three behind the league leaders, Barcelona.
Real’s players had said that Sevilla would provide their biggest challenge so far and the hosts lived up to their billing in the early stages with a number of threatening balls into the Real box. Alvaro Negredo had the best opportunity, but headed over the bar. The Real goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, then had a rush of blood when he charged out of his box to confront Navas, only to see the winger skip away. Raúl Albiol was on hand to head away the danger.
Sevilla continued to make the running and the prolific Luís Fabiano would have been disappointed not to have made better contact after Negredo set him up in the centre of the penalty area, Casillas making a comfortable save.
Real were without Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored nine goals this season but had failed to recover from the ankle injury he suffered during a midweek Champions League win over Marseille.
Lassana Diarra, Alvaro Arbeloa, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Fernando Gago were also missing and Real lacked cohesion, although Marcelo failed to fully exploit a decent break as he fired into Andrés Palop’s midriff.
The game was being played at a frenetic pace with chances at both ends – Karim Benzema could only swipe at fresh air five yards out after good work from Raúl, while Casillas clawed a deflected shot from Navas past the post.
Real did not heed their warning, though, and when Marcelo hesitated in meeting Diego Perotti’s cross, Navas nipped in front of his marker and headed the hosts in front.
Guti, Didier Zokora and Diego Perotti all entered the book following an ugly confrontation, with Zokora somewhat fortunate to escape with only a caution after appearing to push Guti in the face.
Navas was proving Real’s tormentor in chief and he robbed Marcelo before planting a cross on Fabiano’s head, but he could only guide the ball wide. Renato should then have put Sevilla two ahead in the final moments of the first half, but Casillas somehow kept out his point-blank header from Perotti’s fine cross.
The Spain goalkeeper pulled off his second miracle stop in the opening moments of the second half, as Negredo’s cross found Perotti four yards out. The winger was perhaps too casual with his shot and Casillas dived at full stretch to push the ball away.
Having dominated proceedings, Sevilla found themselves level in the 49th minute when Guti’s free-kick was met by a crisp header from Pepe.
Real’s coach, Manuel Pellegrini, replaced the ineffectual Benzema with Gonzalo Higuaín, and they came close to taking the lead in the 57th minute as Mahamadou Diarra headed Alonso’s corner wide.
The visitors seemed to have at last weathered the Sevilla storm but they inexplicably left Renato unmarked in front of goal and he gleefully headed in Navas’ corner.
Real struggled to respond and Casillas had to push Navas’ fierce shot behind in the 87th minute. A last-gasp chance for the visitors went begging as Sergio Ramos fired wide.