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Real edge out Sevilla, hold to 4-point lead

Real edge out Sevilla, hold to 4-point lead
Real Madrid moved four points clear of FC Barcelona and seven ahead of neighbours Atletico at the top of Spanish La Liga table after a nervy 2-1 win at home to Sevilla. First half goals from James Rodriguez and Jese Rodriguez put Real Madrid 2-0 ahead after halftime and their side was able to hold on for a tense last 10 minutes after Iago Aspes got Sevilla back into the game.

Both sides made changes from their games at the weekend with Alvaro Arbeloa and Sami Khedira in the Real Madrid starting 11, while Sevilla had several players out through injury. The injury lists grew before the halftime whistle, with Ramos and James leaving the pitch for Real Madrid and Sevilla goalkeeper, Beto carried off after colliding with Real striker, Karim Benzema.

Before leaving the pitch James had put his side ahead with his second goal in two games after just 12 minutes. Beto was replaced by Sergio Rico, but Rico's first task was to pick the ball out of his net.

Carlos Bacca lost the ball in the Sevilla attack and with the visitors caught on the wrong foot, Gareth Bale and Arbeloa combined to set up Jese Rodriguez, who replaced James to score his first league goal after overcoming the knee injury he suffered last year. Benzema almost made it 3-0 but squeezed a shot just wide after another attack down the Madrid right.

Iago Aspas, who had netted his first league goal for the club at the weekend, finally got Sevilla on the scoresheet with 10 minutes remaining after Vitolo had beaten Khedria on the wing. Sevilla pinned Real back into their half for the last 10 minutes, but were unable to find an equaliser.
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