Sevilla squandered the opportunity to move within a point of Spanish league leaders Real Madrid after Ivan Rakitic saved a penalty in stoppage time in a 0-0 draw with Osasuna. Jules Kound gave Sevilla a golden opportunity to snatch the winning goal at the last gasp on Saturday after Osasuna’s Manu Sánchez fouled him in the area, but Rakitic’s shot was blocked by goalkeeper Sergio Herrera. The draw left second-place Sevilla three points behind Madrid, which hosts Granada on Sunday.
Former Manchester United striker Anthony Martial made his debut for Sevilla in their starting eleven but, like most of his team-mates, was held back by Osasuna’s disciplined defense in Pamplona. Eyeing the chance this season to finally add to their one-of-a-kind league title from 1946, Sevilla added to their squad already deep in the winter transfer market. Martial arrived on loan from United after the transfer of Jesús Corona from Porto three weeks ago.
In his fourth game since arriving, Corona was the only Sevilla attacker capable of opening holes in Osasuna’s defense with his dribbling. But his only shot in the 70′ went high. “We had a bit of bad luck (on the penalty), but this team has guts. We only took one point here, but we are going to fight for the three points in the games to come,” Corona said.
“We are a team that will fight until the end.” Sevilla striker Lucas Ocampos was removed from the starting eleven after suffering an injury during the warm-up. Sevilla then lost left-back Gonzalo Montiel to another injury just minutes into the match. Both Argentines had recently returned from playing for their national team.
Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and forwards Youssef En-Nesyri and Munir El Haddadi played for Sevilla after returning from playing for Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations. Osasuna dropped to 12th place after just one loss in their last four games.
“Everyone, from the striker to the players that came off the bench, played a great game because we knew who we were up against,” Herrara said. “And on the penalty, I did my part.”
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Pere Milla continued his good goalscoring form after twice finding the net to lead Elche’s 3-1 comeback over Alavos. Milla has scored six goals in his last six league games.
“Like I always say, goals are like ketchup, you can squeeze and squeeze and nothing comes out until suddenly it’s poured,” Milla said.
Brais Méndez scored twice to help Celta de Vigo beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0. Méndez used the inside of his left boot to deflect a corner kick into the net with his back to goal to score a fine second goal.
Mallorca came from behind to beat Cádiz 2-1 after Salva Sevilla and Vedat Muriqi, who was making his debut, converted the penalties. Mallorca, in 17th place, opened a five-point gap over Cádiz, in 18th place, the first of the three teams in the relegation zone.