Van der Vaart fires Real Madrid to top of the table
Real Madrid have taken over the Primera Liga leadership with victory against Sevilla last night. Rafael van der Vaart struck a last-gasp winner as magnificent Real Madrid fought back from 2-0 down against Sevilla to maintain their 100% home record and replace Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division table.
Substitute Van der Vaart stabbed the ball home in injury-time to help Madrid complete a stunning late comeback and move above Barca, who were held 2-2 at Almeria earlier in the evening.
The victory was no more than Madrid deserved following a scintillating attacking display and they will go into Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Lyon with confidence sky-high after making it 13 league wins out of 13 at home this season. Madrid trail 1-0 against Lyon from the first leg.
It had looked as though two defensive mistakes would cost Madrid dear, Xabi Alonso putting through his own goal early on and Ivica Dragutinovic's 35-yard free-kick somehow sneaking in after the break to put Sevilla 2-0 up.
However, Madrid hit back in style, netting twice in four minutes just after the hour-mark through Cristiano Ronaldo and former Sevilla player Sergio Ramos, before Van der Vaart sealed the match in incredible fashion.
Real coach Manuel Pellegrini said, "The fans have been spectacular all season.
"I have always felt their support. There are still 39 points to play for. These are three important points. We will only be happy when our final objectives are obtained.
"Now we depend on ourselves.
Pellegrini then analyzed the game in more detail, continuing, "I had to shout at them because they were asleep in the first fifteen minutes.
"They may have been thinking about Barcelona's game.
"The entrance of Van Der Vaart and Guti gave a breath of fresh air to the team."