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Sevilla pile pressure on Barcelona at La Liga summit

Pablo Machin's side are unbeaten in seven league games since a 4-2 loss at Barca, who play Levante later on Sunday, in October.

Published: 17th December 2018 03:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2018 03:53 AM   |  A+A-

Sevilla's Portuguese forward Andre Silva reacts during the Spanish League football match between Sevilla and Girona at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on December 16, 2018. | AFP

By AFP

MADRID: Sevilla reclaimed second place in La Liga on Sunday as second-half strikes from Ever Banega and Pablo Sarabia sealed a 2-0 win over Girona which moved them level on points with leaders Barcelona.

Pablo Machin's side are unbeaten in seven league games since a 4-2 loss at Barca, who play Levante later on Sunday, in October.

The hosts had to wait until the 55th minute to break the deadlock, when striker Andre Silva was tripped in the area by Girona defender Juanpe.

Argentinian Banega stepped up to send visiting goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The points were wrapped up only nine minutes later, as Wissam Ben Yedder cut the ball back for the onrushing Sarabia to slide home his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.

"In the first half they (Girona) were very good," said Machin. "They were very organised and had good chances, when (Sevilla goalkeeper) Tomas (Vaclik) was splendid.

"In the second half we were the better team."

Elsewhere, Villarreal were plunged further into crisis as Samuele Longo's 93rd-minute strike saw them held to a 2-2 draw at bottom club Huesca.

Villarreal, who replaced Javier Calleja with Luis Garcia Plaza as coach in midweek, are only one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Real Betis eased to a 3-1 win at Espanyol to move into fifth place after a third successive league victory.

Giovani Lo Celso scored and missed a penalty for Betis, with Cristian Tello also on the scoresheet.

Espanyol, who led the table earlier in the season, have lost five straight matches to slip into the bottom half.

On Saturday, Atletico Madrid had also drawn level on points with Barcelona as Antoine Griezmann's 80th-minute strike grabbed a 3-2 victory at Real Valladolid, while Real Madrid sit just two points adrift after edging out Rayo Vallecano 1-0.



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