Getafe move up to third as top four rivals stumble


Madrid (AFP) – Sevilla and Real Sociedad both lost ground in La Liga’s race for Champions League qualification on Sunday as Getafe beat Athletic Bilbao to climb to third. 

Real Sociedad lost 2-1 away at struggling Leganes while Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Alaves. 

In between, Getafe had carved out a 2-0 victory away at Bilbao to put them in pole position behind the two title challengers, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Jose Bordalas’ team are now ahead of Sevilla on goal difference, while Real Sociedad are five points further back.

Getafe missed out on fourth on the final day of last season but they continue to prove their challenge was far from a one-off. 

Their success has been built largely on a solid defence but Damian Suarez’s opening goal at San Mames came after a brilliant attacking move, as he exchanged consecutive one-twos before weaving through and finishing into the corner. 

Jaime Mata then doubled the advantage with a penalty early in the second half as VAR revealed the ball had struck Inigo Lekue on the hand. Mata made no mistake. 

Getafe’s victory was made all the more valuable by Sevilla failing to win for the third time in five matches as they followed up their shock Copa del Rey defeat to Mirandes with a draw at home to Alaves. 

Alaves were in front too after Joselu scored with 20 minutes left but Lucas Ocampos’ penalty at least salvaged a point for Sevilla. 

Oscar Rodriguez grabbed a dramatic 94th-minute winner for Leganes as they came from behind to seal a valuable victory over Real Sociedad. 

Alexander Isak put La Real in front only for Kenneth Omeruo to equalise shortly after half-time, before Rodriguez completed a remarkable Leganes turnaround. 

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