Sevilla gave sporting director Monchi a fitting sendoff against Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga Week 31 as Villarreal toppled Athletic Bilbao.
Villarreal 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
Villarreal consolidated fifth place in La Liga with a 3-1 win against Europa League rivals Athletic Bilbao on Friday.
Samu Castillejo’s shot was spilled by Kepa Arrizabalaga, straight in front of Victor Ruiz, who netted from inside the penalty area.
Castillejo soon pulled up with a knock and was replaced by Adrian Lopez. Aritz Aduriz, meanwhile, sent a header onto the bar from Oscar de Marcos’ right-wing cross.
Aymeric Laporte fared better, however, equalising with a first-time strike directly from a corner, although Cedric Bakambu restored the Yellow Submarine’s lead when he slotted past Kepa from a reverse pass.
Ruiz then knocked the ball down for Adrian to score from close range, but the former Napoli defender was shown a straight red with 15 minutes remaining after he slid through last man Inaki Williams.
There was still time for Los Leones to set up a nail-biting finale, but Aduriz crashed his volley against the woodwork.
Espanyol 1-0 Alaves
Espanyol moved within four points of La Liga’s top six with a 1-0 victory over Alaves on Saturday.
Deyverson teed up Victor Camarasa with a chipped pass on the edge of the box, but the Alaves midfielder blazed his volley over the bar.
At the other end, Jose Jurado teased his opponent and hit a shot on target, which Fernando Pacheco fingertipped over.
Espanyol top scorer Gerard Moreno was also misfiring, blasting over from inside the box, but Pablo Piatti slid home a free kick for his 10th League goal of the season.
Leo Baptistao made his long-awaited comeback from a heel injury in the final 10 minutes, but the Periquitos striker failed to wrap up the win from a one-on-one with Pacheco.
Sevilla 4-2 Deportivo La Coruna
Sevilla ended their six-game winless run with a 4-2 victory over Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga on Saturday.
The evening began with departing sporting director Monchi bidding farewell to the Sevilla fans while wearing a club shirt, in front of all the trophies the Andalusians had won in their 17 years together.
The atmosphere at Sanchez Pizjuan was also cranked up by the return of ultras group Los Biris behind the stadium’s north goal stand.
Stevan Jovetic needed just a minute to flick the Andalusians ahead, but the Montenegrin’s effort was quickly cancelled out by Gael Kakuta, who dashed past former teammate Mariano and drilled a finish past Sergio Rico.
Pablo Sarabia capitalised on German Lux pushing a shot directly to him in the Depor box, but Kakuta found the top-right corner of Rico’s goal from a free kick for 2-2.
Nonetheless, Sevilla regained their lead through Joaquin Correa’s header from a left-wing set-piece, with Wissam Ben Yedder’s fabulous close-control and chip the clincher.