Bengaluru, December 9: Sevilla missed the chance to close the gap with La Liga leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid and slipped further after being held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna, who played the final third of the game with 10 men following the sending-off of Oier Sanjurjo.
The slatemate interrupted a five-game winning streak in all competitions for Julen Lopetegui’s side and left them third in the standings after 16 games on 31 points.
They are now three points behind leaders Barcelona and second-placed Real Madrid, who each have a game in hand after their much-anticipated El Clasico has been rescheduled to December 18.
Osasuna, who have lost only once at home in the league since April 2018, are 10th on 23 points.
At the El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona, Sevilla forward Munir El Haddadi put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute with a confident finish after galloping on to a through ball, but Chimy Avila equalised at the end of the first half with a vicious shot into the roof of the net.
Lot of chances
“We had a lot of chances but it wasn’t meant to be. We knew it was going to be a very difficult game and we leave with a point that feels like very little,” said goalscorer Munir.
“We said at half-time that we had to go all out to win the game and that’s what we tried to do but we couldn’t pull it off,” he added.
Benzema on song
Meanwhile, Real Madrid were without Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, but Karim Benzema stepped up again to ensure they beat struggling Espanyol.
Benzema scored one and set up another in a 2-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu to briefly move on top of the table.
Messi magic again!
But Real’s joy was short-lived as Lionel Messi broke yet another record by hitting his 35th La Liga hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Real Mallorca 5-2.
It meant both Real Madrid and Barcelona are back level on points at the top of the La Liga table, with Barca ahead on goal difference.
The La Liga weekend began with Villarreal holding Atletico de Madrid to a goalless draw as both teams were looking for a lift after disappointing defeats last weekend.
This has traditionally always been a tricky fixture for Diego Simeone’s men, with two draws and two Villarreal wins over the last four seasons and the trend continued.
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