Sevilla’s hopes of automatic qualification for the Champions League suffered a blow with an Andalucian derby defeat at Malaga.
The Costa del Sol club emerged 4-2 victors in a pulsating encounter at La Rosaleda, with two errors from Sevilla captain Nicolas Pareja significant in a loss that keeps them three points behind third-placed Atletico Madrid, who also have a superior head-to-head record with three La Liga games remaining.
Pablo Fornals, Sandro, Diego Llorente and Juan Carlos all found the net for Michel’s Malaga, while Franco Vazquez grabbed a brace for the lacklustre visitors.
Vazquez opened the scoring with a deflected effort past Carlos Kameni but Fornals levelled before the break with a thunderous effort.
Six minutes after the break Pareja missed a clearance to allow Sandro to run through and put the hosts ahead before Vazquez brought Sevilla level with a controlled finish.
However, Llorente headed home from Sandro’s free-kick thirteen minutes from time while Carlos slotted home from a rebound after the former Barcelona striker’s penalty had been saved by Sergio Rico.
Sevilla stay fourth while Malaga leapfrog Las Palmas and Valencia to 12th.