‘We have earned respect’ – Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli believes his side have ‘earned the respect of Spanish football’ by finishing the year in third place in La Liga.

Saturday’s 4-1 win over Malaga continued the Europa League winners fine form this campaign with four goals in the space of ten minutes before the break propelling them to victory in the Andalucian derby.

“It makes me happy because now we have earned the respect of Spanish football,” said Sampaoli, when asked about his side’s high-flying end to 2016.

"We had our opponents at our mercy; we finished the game off in one half and delighted the fans.

"I'm delighted with the performance and that we have earned the respect of everyone for the way we are playing.

"It's a great boost for us that will spur us on to greater things in the future."

Sevilla finish the year a point behind second-placed Barcelona and four off Real Madrid, who have played a game less due to their participation in the Club World Cup.

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