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Real Madrid Drop Points Again

Madrid2-Milan0_20101019_211736It is far to say that Real Madrid’s start to 2015 has not gone to plan.

Real ended 2014 with four trophies (Copa del Rey, Champions League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup) but since returning from their winter break, Real Madrid have been average at best.

The team’s first match of the year was a painful defeat by Valencia at the Mestalla which put an end to a remarkable 22-game run of consecutive victories.

After elimination from the Copa del Rey by city rivals Atletico, Carlo Ancelotti’s side seemed to respond well and racked up four straight wins, although Córdoba and Sevilla gave them a scare along the way. The run came to an end during another defeat to Atleti at the Calderón, as the home side put in a masterful performance in a 4-0 humiliation of their city neighbours on 7th February.

March has not been any better so far as Los Blancos ave just one point from two league fixtures which came against Villarreal, although ‘The Yellow Submarine’ may consider themselves unfortunate not to have left the Bernabéu with all three points.

On Saturday their flickering form continued when the European and World Champions lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao thanks to a first-half header by Aritz Aduriz.

Real lacked their usual intensity and attacking flair, especially in the first half, and dropped points for the second match running following last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Villarreal. They will surrender top spot to arch-rivals Barcelona if the Catalans beat Rayo Vallecano at home on Sunday.

Sevilla conquered their demons away from home by coming from behind to win 4-3 at struggling Deportivo. Unai Emery’s side had lost their last four away trips in the league and their trip to Riazor got off to a bad start when Oriel Riera opened the scoring for Deportivo in the 27th minute. But Vitolo levelled a few minutes later and then gave the visitors the lead early in the second half.

Kevin Gameiro’s penalty gave Sevilla a bigger advantage which was then reduced as Riera scored again, only for Sidnei’s own-goal to put the game out of Depor’s sight – although Lucas Perez scored from the penalty spot for the Galicians in stoppage-time. The win keeps Sevilla fifth in the table and cuts the gap on fourth-placed Valencia – who travel to Atletico Madrid on Sunday – to four points, but Depor are one point off the relegation zone.

Elche climbed three points away from the drop zone after beating Almeria 1-0. Victor Rodriguez scored the only goal of the game with just five minutes on the clock, although the hosts passed up plenty of opportunities to extend their lead, and had a second goal harshly ruled out for a foul. In the day’s final game, Ignacio Camacho’s unfortunate own-goal proved enough to tip the Andalusian derby in Granada’s favour.

The hosts at Los Carmenes were the better side throughout but needed a mistake from Malaga midfielder Camacho to book them the win that brings them within three points of safety. Granada’s 1-0 triumph was their first in five attempts while seventh-placed Malaga missed an opportunity to notch a third straight league victory.