Carlo Ancelotti’s side edge out Sevilla in five goal thriller.
Having seen La Liga rivals Barcelona complete an 8-0 win earlier on Saturday it was key Real Madrid negotiated the potential banana skin of a trip to Sevilla in order to keep themselves in the running for the title.
Without Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema Carlo Ancelotti once again opted to turn to Javier Hernandez as a main strike partner for Cristiano Ronaldo.
After a cagey first half an hour Real Madrid sprung into life.
Ronaldo neatly headed home an Isco cross to put the away side ahead on 35 minutes.
Then barely a minute later James Rodriguez floated a superb cross into the box, which Chicharito missed, but Ronaldo fired home to make it 2-0 to Real Madrid.
With seconds remaining in the half Sergio Ramos foolishly upended Aleix Vidal in the box and Carlos Bacca fired in the spot-kick.
Real Madrid had most of the possession in the second half and Sevilla were struggling to get back in the game before sub Gareth Bale picked out Cristiano Ronaldo with a fine ball, the Portuguese star headed in to complete his hat-trick.
With ten minutes remaining Sevilla grabbed another, with Real Madrid’s defence left horribly exposed before Vicente Iborra slotted home.
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