Sevilla tops Malaga 2-0 to move closer to Barcelona in Spain
MADRID (AP) Sevilla defeated Malaga 2-0 with goals two minutes apart in the second half to regain second place in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Ever Banega converted a 68th-minute penalty kick and Luis Muriel quickly added to the lead to pull Sevilla within two points of league leader Barcelona, which hosts Las Palmas on Sunday and will try to win its seventh straight match.
It was the fourth win in the last five matches for Sevilla, which had its unbeaten streak halted at Atletico Madrid in the previous round.
Atletico can move past Sevilla again in the standings when it plays at seventh-place Leganes later Saturday.
Banega opened the scoring after Joaquin Correa was fouled inside the area to prompt the penalty kick, and Muriel scored after a run from near midfield following a mistake by the Malaga defense.
”We dominated the entire game, we just had to find a way to score,” Muriel said. ”I’m happy to have scored in such an important victory that keeps us near the top of the table.”
It was Malaga’s sixth loss in seven league matches, keeping it second-to-last in the 20-team standings.
”We were playing our best when we conceded the goals,” Malaga defender Miguel Torres said. ”Unfortunately we made some mistakes. We have to apologize to the fans. It’s been a tough start to the season.”
Barcelona’s game will be played amid a controversial vote for Catalonia’s independence. The Camp Nou has often been used as a rallying point for the separatists and it will likely happen again on Sunday.
Defending champion Real Madrid host Espanyol later on Sunday.
Florin Andone scored an 87th-minute winner to help Deportivo La Coruna come from behind and defeat Getafe 2-1.
Amath Ndiaye put the visitors ahead early in the second half and Lucas Perez equalized about 10 minutes later.
Andore secured the victory with a shot from close range after Getafe defenders failed to clear a ball crossed into the area.
Deportivo had lost three of its last four league matches and Spanish media said club directors had already decided to fire coach Pepe Mel if the team didn’t win Saturday’s home game.
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