Own goal gifts Real Madrid vital win at Sevilla

·2 min read

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) - Real Madrid earned a scrappy 1-0 victory at Sevilla on Saturday, thanks to an own goal from keeper Bono, to snap a three-game winless run in La Liga and ease the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane.

Madrid were in desperate need of victory after defeats by Alaves in La Liga and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League and the win lifted them to third in the standings on 20 points, leaving Sevilla fifth on 16.

The only goal in a cagey game came in the 56th minute when Bono attempted to claim a low cross from Ferland Mendy towards Vinicius Jr. but completely missed the ball, which bounced off his leg and trickled into the net.

Brazilian forward Vinicius missed a chance to put Madrid further at ease later in the game but lost control of the ball, provoking an angry reaction from strike partner Karim Benzema.

After the goal, Sevilla dominated the game and nearly equalised with a free kick from Nemanja Gudelj which brushed the side netting, a curling strike from Suso which just missed the top corner and an acrobatic effort from Lucas Ocampos which Thibaut Courtois tipped away.

Madrid saw out the game to get their first league victory since October, after losing to Valencia, drawing with Villarreal and losing at home to Alaves.

They face a crucial game at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday, with their place in the Champions League knockout stage on the line, and then host city rivals Atletico Madrid.

"The victory was very important for our confidence," said Vinicius.

"We had played well in the other games but the victory never came but we didn't have any doubts and we went out to win the match.

"We know the pressure we are under but we like it and we know how to keep our heads."

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond and Clare Fallon)