Wednesday evening marked the end of league action before the World Cup for eight more teams, with some consequential results in the European race and the relegation battle during the early games.
Sevilla 1-2 Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad moved, at least temporarily, into third with an important victory away at Sevilla. It snapped their winless streak of three but extended Sevilla’s to five, even if strangely, the emotions were somewhat reversed by the end.
Alexander Sorloth opened the scoring with a beautiful chip from a good Mikel Merino pass. It was the beginning of a dreadful 15 minutes for Sevilla, who would have Ivan Rakitic and Tanguy Nianzou sent off in the space of three minutes. Shortly after, Merino took himself to the top of the assist charts with a ball for Brais Mendez to place in the corner.
Just before half-time, Rafa Mir powered an Alex Telles cross into the corner. Despite their disadvantage, Sevilla battled well in the second half and had a few half-chances through Youssef En-Nesyri, leaving the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan content with their efforts. La Real seemed frustrated they did not do more damage.
The table does not lie though and Sevilla sit precariously just a point above the relegation zone, following a first section of the season they will hope to forget quickly.
Almeria 1-0 Getafe
Almeria equalled their record of four straight home victories in La Liga following a narrow victory over fellow relegation rivals Getafe.
It’s a victory that allows Rubi to be pleased with their season so far, moving them into 15th, five points clear of the drop. Leo Baptistao’s header from a corner in the first half was enough to give them three points, despite Rodrigo Ely’s late red card.
It leaves Getafe 15th, three points above the relegation zone and with just one win in their last eight against lowly Elche.
Espanyol 0-1 Villarreal
It might not have been dazzling, but it didn’t matter for Quique Setien who got his first win in five attempts as Villarreal manager.
The Yellow Submarine got their noses in front from a Benjamin Lecomte own goal, after Yeremy Pino hit the post and Alberto Moreno kept the ball alive.
There was little threat on the whole though, despite their ball possession. In the final half hour, Espanyol created chances and flashed the ball across the box often. Some desperate clearances from Villarreal’s defence and Geronimo Rulli kept Espanyol at bay though.
Setien now faces a nervous wait to see if the win was enough to keep his job, Villarreal are at least within three points of fourth again.
Espanyol were whistled off again and had themselves to blame for dropping points – again. Diego Martinez’s side finish up just a point above the drop.