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Sevilla return to LaLiga top 4 with win over Alaves

Vitoria, Spain, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Goalkeeper Yassine Bono were the hero here Tuesday for Sevilla, saving an Alaves penalty in the 90th minute to preserve a 2-1 victory for the visitors.

Sevilla climb to fourth place in LaLiga with 33 points, right on the heels of Barcelona, while a third straight loss left Deportivo Alaves in 17th, just a point above the drop zone.

Julen Lopetegui’s squad had 63 percent possession, but struggled to generate quality scoring opportunities against a disciplined Alaves defense and the teams ended the game level on shots at three apiece.

Youssef En-Nesyri put Sevilla on the board in the 3rd minute with an assist from Jesus Navas. The Moroccan’s first touch was poor, but a lack of marking by Alaves gave him time and space to recover and get the goal.

Alaves drew level nine minutes later, when Sevilla failed to defend properly on a throw-in and Edgar Mendez beat Bono with a header.

Getting the equalizer buoyed the hosts, who made it difficult for Sevilla to play out from the back and created moments of anxiety for Bono with long balls into the zone.

The Sevilla keeper got help from defender Jules Kounde to defuse a threat from Joselu Mato in the 20th minute.

Ten minutes later, the visitors reclaimed the advantage with a goal from distance by Suso, whose perfectly placed strike was beyond the reach of Alaves keeper Fernando Pacheco.

Ruben Duarte engineered a pair of good chances for Mato in the second half, only for the Sevilla back line to shut down the striker on both occasions.

Sevilla put the ball in the net for a third time in the final stretch, but VAR intervened to disallow the goal and then came an opportunity for Alaves when Kounde was cited for a hand ball.

Mato took the shot and Bono saved it to grab all 3 points for Sevilla.

In Tuesday’s other action, 16th-place Valladolid got goals from Michel and Joaquin in the last 20 minutes to salvage a 2-2 draw with 18th-place Elche, who led on Josan’s double in the first half.

Cadiz and visiting Levante also ended 2-2.

Alberto Perea struck first for the hosts in the 4th minute, but Roger Marti scored a pair in the space of three minutes to give the visitors a 1-2 edge.

Cala brought Cadiz back on level terms in the 28th minute and Levante, despite enjoying 70 percent possession, failed to get the winner.

Cadiz are eighth on 24 points, just 2 more than Levante in the 11th spot. EFE

jd/dr

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