Seville (Spain) (AFP) – Sevilla were unable to complete a dramatic comeback against Celta Vigo on Saturday as another stumble gave Real Madrid the chance to move six points clear at the top of La Liga.
Celta hit Sevilla twice in three minutes at the end of the first half as Franco Cervi and Iago Aspas gave the visitors a commanding lead at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
A stunning strike from Papu Gomez gave Sevilla hope and then Oliver Torres equalised four minutes later, leaving the hosts with 16 minutes to find a winner.
But Celta held on for a 2-2 draw that means Sevilla only cut the gap to Real Madrid to three points, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side playing their game in hand at home to Elche on Sunday.
It brings an end to a rough week for Sevilla, who drew 1-1 away at Valencia in midweek, on the back of a surprise exit at the hands of local rivals Real Betis in the Copa del Rey last weekend.
That game had to be stopped on Saturday and restarted on Sunday after an object thrown from the Betis crowd hit Sevilla’s Joan Jordan and, along with injuries and Covid-19 infections, the sense is of a team struggling with emotional and physical fatigue.
Their coach Julen Lopetegui has been suffering from Covid symptoms this week and was not on the bench again, with his assistant Pablo Sanz in charge on the line.
“I can’t blame these guys for anything because with a bit of luck we would have won,” said Sanz.
“You leave with some optimism because the team has given everything but it’s two points lost at home so the feeling is bitter-sweet.”
Sevilla were just about the better team in the first half but they only really threatened when three quick-fire shots were lashed at goal, as Luis Ocampos, Rafa Mir and then Tecatito tried and failed to hit the net.
Then came Celta’s quick-fire double, both instigated by sloppy give-aways from Sevilla in midfield. First, Marcos Acuna’s weak header dropped loose and as Celta broke, Santi Mina’s shot was parried and Cervi drove in the rebound.
Three minutes later Ocampos’ return pass to Rakitic never reached its target, with Aspas holding the ball on the edge of the area while Cervi ran beyond him. Aspas curled into the corner.
Sevilla’s fans were simmering. Mir was substituted at half-time, along with Ivan Rakitic and Fernando.
There were two optimistic penalty appeals but Sevilla created very little until Gomez shook them into life in the 70th minute, shifting inside from the right and unleashing with his left, the ball sizzling into the top corner.
Sevilla were transformed, the stadium bouncing, and four minutes later they were level, Nestor Araujo’s header out falling at the feet of Torres, who prodded the ball between bodies, through the legs of Ivan Romero and in.
They had 16 minutes to find a winner. Torres hit the post with a diving header but that was as close as Sevilla came, Celta holding on for a point.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Minamino leaves Liverpool for Ligue 1 club Monaco
- Netherlands looks to snap World Cup dud at Qatar 2022
- Lukaku expected in Milan ‘this evening’ ahead of Inter return: CEO
- French minister apologises for Champions League chaos
- Where to find Corinthians vs. Boca Juniors on US TV
- Where to find USWNT vs. Colombia on US TV
- LAFC confirms 12-month Bale deal with options through 2024
- Barcelona unveils 2022/23 away kit to honor Olympics anniversary
- Favre new Nice coach as Galtier in PSG talks
- Gabriel Jesus signing helps Mikel Arteta’s aims at Arsenal