Sevilla go second in La Liga after controversial derby win
EUROPA LEAGUE holders Sevilla provisionally moved up to second in La Liga after winning a controversial local derby 1-0 at home to Real Betis yesterday.
Argentina international Gabriel Mercado scored the winner with a close range finish in the 51st minute after a set piece.
Betis thought they had equalised three minutes later when Alex Alegria tucked home a low Ruben Castro cross but it was wrongly ruled out for offside by referee Javier Estrada Fernandez.
Sevilla have 11 points, one behind Real Madrid, who welcome Villarreal later when third-placed champions Barcelona, on nine points, host Atletico Madrid, who have eight.
Real Betis coach Gustavo Poyet did not hide his anger at the decision to rule out the ‘goal’, which came after his side were denied a penalty in Friday’s 2-2 draw at home to Granada.
“At the end of the day I’m the one responsible but this has to stop, this has to stop, there have been too many (decisions against Betis),” Poyet told BeIN Sports.
“These incidents decide seasons, they determine the day-today, my job and what people will say about the game tomorrow.
“They (Sevilla) scored a goal because of one mistake, by a small margin, and we scored a much better goal that wasn’t given. Last week it was the handball, a penalty we were not given. There have been a lot of decisions against us.”
Betis are 13th with five points from five games.
Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli, whose side remain unbeaten in the league, said: “Apart from a few moments of friction, Sevilla were the much better team.
“The game was tough because Betis did not try to play as much as we did. They didn’t have a shot in the first half and had one in the second, while we had 10 or 12.”
Earlier, Malaga picked up their first win of the season, coming from behind to beat Eibar 2-1 at home. – Reuters