Real Madrid tops Sevilla for fourth straight win

Madrid, Spain ( - Real Madrid claimed its fourth consecutive win in league play on Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over Sevilla in a top-four clash at the Bernabeu.

Coming off a 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad last time out in which Karim Benzema netted a brace and Cristiano Ronaldo missed the match due to suspension, Ronaldo was in the stands again on Wednesday as he served the second of a two-match ban.

Despite the Portugal star's absence, Real Madrid opened the scoring in spectacular fashion in the 12th minute when Brazil international Marcelo served an excellent diagonal ball to James Rodriguez on the right side of the box. Rodriguez allowed the ball to bounce and knocked it home with an outstanding diving header.

The hosts then doubled their lead in the 36th minute when a cross came into the box from the right flank that was knocked on by Isco before Jese was in perfect position to fire it past Sevilla goalkeeper Beto.

Sevilla pulled one back with 10 minutes to play as Vitolo got to the end line on the left side of the pitch and cut it back to Liverpool loanee Iago Aspas, who ripped it into the roof of the net.

Feeling they could get something from the game, Sevilla sent numbers forward in search of an equalizer as the fourth official's board showed four minutes of added time, but Real Madrid held on to claim all three points, sending Sevilla to its fifth league defeat of the season.