Title-chasing Real snatches draw with Sevilla after VAR drama

The result left Atletico Madrid top of the standings with three games to go on 77 points, two ahead of second-placed Real and third-placed Barcelona. Sevilla is fourth on 71.

The draw means that Atletico Madrid is still the league leader with 77 points.   -  REUTERS

Real Madrid missed the chance to go top of La Liga after drawing 2-2 at home to Sevilla but earned a potentially crucial point thanks to a lucky deflection from Toni Kroos' shot in added time, which glanced Hazard and crept inside Sevilla's goal.

The result left Atletico Madrid top of the standings with three games to go on 77 points, two ahead of second-placed Real and third-placed Barcelona. Sevilla is fourth on 71.

Brazilian midfielder Fernando put Sevilla in front midway through the first half after a headed goal from Real striker Karim Benzema had been ruled out for a marginal offside.

MATCH BLOG:La Liga Highlights Real Madrid 2 Sevilla 2

Real improved in the second half and deservedly levelled through Marco Asensio in the 67th but the game swung back in Sevilla's favour in an extraordinary turn of events.

Real launched a quick counter and Benzema earned a penalty when he was fouled by goalkeeper Bono, but a VAR review led to the referee penalising Real defender Eder Militao for an earlier handball and awarding a spot-kick to Sevilla instead.

Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic kept his nerve to deceive Thibaut Courtois from the spot and restore Sevilla's lead in the 77th minute but Real somehow stayed alive in an enthralling title race when Toni Kroos tried his luck and saw his shot diverted into the net off the boot of Eden Hazard.

However, Real somehow stayed alive in an enthralling title race when Toni Kroos tried his luck and saw his shot diverted into the net off the boot of Diego Carlos.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane came on the pitch after the fulltime whistle to speak to referee Juan Martinez Munuera and admitted being annoyed by the penalty, awarded as Militao handled after leaping in the air to defend a cross.

"I'm very angry, someone needs to explain the handball rule to me. It's very difficult to take because we played very well but it is what it is," Zidane told reporters.

"I don't like to speak about the referees, but today the sensations are not good."

HUGE WEEKEND

The own goal, in the third minute of added time, was the final twist in a huge weekend for the title race after Atletico had stayed top by earning a 0-0 draw at Barca on Saturday.

The stalemate at the Camp Nou offered title holder Real the chance to top the standings and leave its fate in its own hands although it went into the game in low spirits after its Champions League semifinal exit to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Zidane shook his starting 11 up by dropping Eden Hazard after the Belgian's poor display in the 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge and was without captain Sergio Ramos, ruled out with injury in a season riddled with fitness setbacks.

His side was poor in the first half but looked to have gone ahead when Benzema leapt to turn in an excellent cross from right back Alvaro Odriozola, who had been left out against Chelsea in favour of Vinicius Jr in a makeshift wingback role.

The goal was chalked off though as Odriozola's foot was a couple of inches offside although the incident was overshadowed by the second VAR review in the second half of an entertaining contest with so much at stake at the top of the standings.

"We have let two points escape today, we did everything to win the game," said Real midfielder Luka Modric. "But the ball wouldn't go in and then we earn a penalty which is taken away and another is given down the other end. But we're still alive."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :