Baptista strike stuns Real
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Julio Baptista's late goal for Sevilla gave them a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid.Real Madrid's title dreams were shattered as Julio Baptista grabbed a late goal to earn a 2-2 draw for Sevilla.
Real's Galaticos knew they needed a win to keep the title chase alive, but it was never going to be an easy task at third-placed Sevilla - who had proved something of a bogey side in recent years.
The home side dominated the opening half with Sergio Ramos firing them ahead, only for Javi Navarro to put through his own net to send the sides in level at half time.
Zinedine Zidane lashed in a wonderful goal to put Real ahead in the second half, but Julio Baptista popped up with two minutes left to earn the hosts a point and put Barcelona on the verge of the title.
Sevilla flew out of the traps and pestered Real constantly, with Wanderley Luxemburgo's men unable to settle in possession.
Antonito tested Iker Casillas early on as the pressure was all coming from the home side, who were desperate for points in their chase for a UEFA Champions League spot.
Sevilla were fired into the lead by talented young defender Sergio Ramos, who blasted a wonderful 19th-minute free kick into the back of the net from 30 yards.
Ramos, who has been courted by Manchester United and Arsenal, is highly rated for his defensive skills, but he proved to have a fierce shot when running on to Dernei Renarto's touch and slamming past Casillas.
Straight from the restart Antonito forced Casillas into a full-length save as the hosts threatened to run riot with Real visibly rattled.
Jesus Navas fired in a free kick on 25 minutes that deflected off the Madrid wall and sailed just wide of the post.
Real's first shot in anger came on 27 minutes, when Ronaldo showed all of his skill and muscle to make space for a shot just outside the box, which clipped the foot of the post.
Despite dominating the half, Sevilla found themselves level four minutes before half time, when Javi Navarro stooped to head a Roberto Carlos cross past goalkeeper Antonio Notario and in to his own net.
Real grew into the game in the second half, and the game looked to have been won with a real moment of class from French maestro Zidane.
The World Cup winner lashed in a fierce 25-yard effort that flew past Notario and smacked the underside of the bar on its way in to put Real ahead with 17 minutes left to play.
Ramos nearly restored parity just two minutes later when he rose to meet a free kick with a firm header, but it bounced just wide of the post.
With just two minutes left, Real hearts were broken as Jesus Navas crossed from the right for Julio Baptista to send a storming header past the helpless Casillas to earn a 2-2 draw.
Ivan Helguera added insult to injury be getting sent off on the stroke of full time, as Sevilla earned a valuable point in their Champions League chase, while all but ending Real's title dreams.
Sevilla 2-2 Real Madrid