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Resurgent Sevilla eye an unlikely tilt at La Liga’s top four
- Updated: 4 April, 2012
Sevilla made it three wins in a row in La Liga, as they cruised past a disappointing Mallorca at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Monday evening.
Second half goals from Negredo, Manu and Navas secured all three points for the home side who continue their push for a Champions League spot – although still unlikely the result leaves Míchel’s side just five points adrift of fourth and that coveted European place.
The victory over Mallorca was the third time in three matches that Sevilla have scored three goals. It seems Míchel’s men are hitting their goal scoring form at just the right time in the season. In a fairly dull opening forty five minutes there was little to enthuse the home crowd or indeed the Mallorca faithful who had made the trip.
There was little to trouble either goal keeper although Sevilla were the more threatening of the two teams. The inform Navas went closest to opening the scoring, but keeper Aoute made a fine save at his near post when his defence deserted him.
The 4-2-3-1 that Míchel likes to use whatever the opponent was causing problems for the Mallorca defence. José Reyes who has had a mixed campaign so far this season combined well with Manu and Navas to muster a couple of efforts on goal but Aoute was on hand to keep the away side level at half time.
Míchel may have been a little disappointed that his team couldn’t score in the opening half but he couldn’t fault his players for a lack of effort.
As for Mallorca manager, Joaquín Caparrós, he may have had a thing or two to say to his men at the interval. The away side were second best in the first half and if defeat was to be avoided they needed to play better in the second half.
A much improved second half meant a flurry of goals and a more entertaining spectacle, unless you’re a Mallorca fan. Ten minutes after half time, Sevilla got their reward for dominating play. An inswinging corner from Reyes was met by a glancing header from Álvaro Negredo who got the faintest of touches but it was enough to beat Aoute in the Mallorca goal.
Mallorca responded well to going a goal down and they had a glorious chance to level things up. An early punt up field from the keeper was held up well by Álvaro who then put through Víctor but his shot went agonisingly wide.
Manu brought his goal tally for the season up to double figures as he scored the second goal of the game and his fourth in three games. All three points were wrapped up for Míchel’s side when Jésus Navas tucked away a Reyes cross. Massive gaps were left in the Mallorca midfield and then the defence as the away side searched for a way back into the game. Although Tomer Hemed got a consolation it was too little, too late for Caparrós’ side.
The result leaves Mallorca in thirteenth place in the league table. Although Mallorca fans will be glad the fixture list doesn’t look too daunting, as their next three games are against teams below them in the table.
As for Sevilla, Míchel will have been delighted with another three points. His belief that taking one game at a time and focusing on three points, rather than the bigger picture of the league table seems to be working. Sevilla fans will no doubt be delighted that their team is starting to come good, but will it be too late to secure a top four finish? Only time will tell.Follow @icentrocampista