WINNING STREAK SNAPPED
Sevilla’s run halted by Alaves, lose ground to Barcelona and Real
SEVILLA couldn’t manage more than a 1-1 draw at Alaves on Monday, seeing their title chances take a hit in La Liga after both Barcelona and Real Madrid won their weekend games.
The result snapped Sevilla’s four-game winning streak and left them three points behind second-placed Madrid and four points behind leaders Barcelona.
Jorge Sampaoli’s team opened with a first-half goal by Wissam Ben Yedder but conceded a 75thminute equaliser after a mistake by goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
Both teams had great scoring chances the rest of the match at the Mendizorroza Stadium but couldn’t capitalise on them.
It was only the third game without a win for Sevilla in the last 12 league rounds. The other setbacks were a 0-0 draw against Villarreal and a 3-1 loss at Espanyol when they played most of the game with 10 men.
Ben Yedder opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after entering the area and firing a low shot into the far corner.
Sevilla couldn’t exploit their opportunities to increase the lead before halftime and Alaves took control in the second half.
“We should have taken advantage of our chances in the first half,” Sampaoli said.
Aleksandar Katai equalised for the hosts about 10 minutes after coming off the bench as Rico failed to hold on to a cross into the area. The ball ricocheted off the midfielder and went into the goal.
“There was a bit of bad luck in that play,” Rico said. “But in the end we earned a point away from home and we will keep fighting until the end.”
Oscar Romero, who came on in the second half and reinvigorated Alaves, provided the cross that led to Katai’s goal.
“We had a lot of respect for our rivals, we know that they are fighting at the top of the table,” Romero said. “We were able to equalise and in the end nearly got the victory.”
Alaves, who play Barcelona in the King’s Cup final on May 27, stayed 11th in the 20-team league with 34 points.
Sevilla, seeking their first league title since the 1945-46 season, lost ground on the top two. Barcelona routed Celta Vigo 5-0 at the Nou Camp on Saturday and Real won 4-1 at Eibar.
Sevilla’s Ben Yedder (centre) celebrates his goal against Alaves on Monday.