Lopetegui fails to get Sevilla by Real Sociedad in 0-0 result
Sevilla, Spain, Mar 20 (EFE).- Both Sevilla and Real Sociedad were unable to get past a scoreless draw in their match-up on Sunday at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in Sevilla, where the locals stagnated as lower La Liga squads approach them in the No. 2 spot while the No. 6 visitors managed to gain an important point to keep dreaming of a Champions League berth.
The San Sebastian team was in pretty good form, forcing Sevilla out of its habitual game on its home turf and obligating the hosts to settle for their fourth La Liga draw so far this season, although they did manage to avoid a defeat.
Both teams came out with an eye toward further bolstering their positions in European competition on a rainy afternoon in Sevilla, with Julen Lopetegui’s men trying at home to recover from their Europa League elimination last Thursday and Imanol Alguacil’s 11 reeling from the serious knee injury to team captain Mikel Oyarzabal, also last week.
Sevilla has been dealing with a plague of injuries for months and suffered yet another when netminder Yassine Bono had to be replaced by Marko Dmitrovic.
Lopetegui tried out Anthony Martial and Munir El Haddadi in the striker positions, as Real Sociedad’s Portu, Adnan Januzaj and Alexander Sorloth were up front.
The squad’s tried to adjust to the rain-slick pitch and neither one was able to create any clear chances for much of the first half in a rather equal contest, with Sorloth having the best opportunity although it came to nought.
After the break, Lopetegui strengthened his midfield and the team came out with more verve to threaten Alex Remiro’s net and, although Real had set up quite a good defense, they had to redouble their own efforts to keep their rivals from getting too close to a winning combination.
Real fielded David Silva and Jon Guridi and managed on three consecutive plays to manufacture good scoring options, one of them by Portu which hit the post.
The visitors adjusted much more quickly and favorably to the changes ordered by their coach, playing better ball than the flagging Sevilla in the final stretch and it looked like they might be able to grab a win, but it was not to be and the match ended with neither squad finding the twine.
With the result, Sevilla remain in second place, nine points behind Real Madrid, who play Barcelona later on Sunday evening, while Real Sociedad are down in the sixth spot with 48.
Sevilla: Dmitrovic; Jesus Navas, Kounde, Gudelj, Augustinsson; Oliver Torres (Rakitic, m.67), Delaney (Montiel, m.80); ‘Tecatito’ Corona (Lamela, m.67), Munir (Jordan, m.46), Ocampos; and Martial (En-Nesyri, m.59).
Real Sociedad: Remiro; Zaldua (Gorosabel, m.46), Le Normand, Aritz Elustondo, Rico; Merino (Guridi, m.63), Zubimendi, Rafinha (Davd Silva, m.63); Portu (Isak, m.75), Januzaj (Martin, m.86) and Sorloth.