Sevilla continue Liga revival, Valencia lose amid protest

BARCELONA: Youssef En-Nesyri and Bryan Gil helped Sevilla to a 2-0 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday in La Liga to record a fourth consecutive home victory.

Elsewhere Valencia fell to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Athletic Bilbao amid a large fan protest against Peter Lim’s ownership of the club.

Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla rose provisionally to 12th, four points clear of the relegation zone, bouncing back strongly after their thrashing by Barcelona last Sunday.

Mallorca, who beat champions Real Madrid the same day, were far tamer at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

Morocco striker En-Nesyri sent the hosts ahead with a simple finish after running on to a long ball, with Mallorca’s defence asleep.

It was his third goal in three league games, having failed to score in his first 14 top-flight appearances this season.

Gil, on loan back at his former side from Tottenham, doubled the lead from point blank range after 40 minutes when Jesus Navas’s cross slid all the way through to him.

Sevilla could not extend their lead after the break but the fans were content with the victory which continued their revival after a terrible start to the season.

“Today the team was far superior to a side that is very difficult,“ said Sampaoli.

“They had just come from beating Real Madrid and have a lot of defensive strength, and we had a first half where we could have scored many more goals.

“This superiority is exciting going forward for the future.”

Valencia’s defeat by Athletic Bilbao at Mestalla left the east coast side 18th, in the relegation zone.

Thousands of supporters protested against Lim, gathering outside the stadium before kick-off to show their discontent as they have done on multiple previous occasions.

They did not enter the stadium until the 19th minute, leaving stands vacated in large areas at the start of the game.

The club are badly struggling this season, with the defeat by Athletic leaving them a point behind Espanyol, 17th, who face Real Sociedad on Monday.

Samu Castillejo sent Los Che ahead but Nico Williams levelled for the Basques after half an hour and Oihan Sancet slotted home the winner.

Fans whistled and jeered at full-time after Voro’s side fell to their 11th defeat in 21 league games.

Earlier Real Betis moved provisionally fifth with an entertaining 3-2 win at Almeria, ending their own poor run of one win in six games across all competitions.

Sergio Canales was the visitors’ key player, scoring and setting up the winner for veteran Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado.

On Sunday league leaders Barcelona visit Villarreal among other games. -AFP