La Nucia, Spain, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Losing 2 points by conceding an own goal to Levante with two minutes left in regulation here Monday could prove costly for a Sevilla squad hopeful of qualifying for the 2020-2021 Champions League.
Sevilla, with 51 points from 29 matches, are currently third in LaLiga, but separated by only 5 points from Atletico Madrid in sixth.
And Real Sociedad, holding the fourth spot, can go to 50 points if they win Thursday against 15th-place Alaves.
With Barcelona and Real Madrid – now just a point apart – all but certain to claim first and second place, Sevilla, Sociedad and Atleti will slug it out for the two remaining Champions League slots.
In a match played in La Nucia because Levante’s home stadium in Valencia is undergoing renovations, Sevilla failed to translate their 61 percent possession into a second goal to ensure victory over their tenacious opponents.
While the visitors owned the ball for long stretches of the first half, they struggled to create chances against the well-organized Levante defense.
The best opportunity for Sevilla came in the 15th minute, when Munir El Haddadi’s free kick hit the cross-bar.
Sevilla broke the deadlock in the opening minute of the second half on a play that began with a great pass from Diego Carlos to Munir.
The striker than relayed the ball to Luuk de Jong, who hammered home to make it 1-0.
Costa looked to have doubled the advantage for Sevilla in the 54th minute, but the goal was disallowed for a foul by the attacking side and Levante keeper Aitor Fernandez came up with a great save to deny Munir on the ensuing sequence.
Less effective at the back than in the first half, the hosts were also timid and uncoordinated on the attack until the contest entered the final 30 minutes, when they began finding ways to penetrate the Sevilla zone, though without doing much to trouble keeper Tomas Vaclik.
The visitors, meanwhile, shifted from pursuing a second goal to defending the narrow lead, which disappeared in the 88th minute with a ball from Levante’s Jorge Miramon that took a deflection off Diego Carlos into the Sevilla net. EFE