2016/2017 Spanish Primera División
  • Pablo Sarabia (41')
  • Carlos Vela (61')
  • David Zurutuza (79')

Champions League-chasing Sevilla held at home by Real Sociedad

Sevilla's midfielder Pablo Sarabia scores past Real Sociedad's goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli in a La Liga match on Friday. Getty Images

Sevilla edged closer to sealing a Champions League place despite being pegged back by Real Sociedad in a 1-1 home draw.

Pablo Sarabia's strike deep in the first half gave Sevilla an interval lead, but Carlos Vela equalised in the second period for the visitors, who held on to keep their Europa League hopes alive despite the late dismissal of David Zurutuza.

Zurutuza was sent off with 11 minutes left when his foul on Vitolo earned him a second yellow card, five minutes after he had been booked for his challenge on Sarabia.

Sevilla sit fourth in La Liga, six points clear of closest rivals Villarreal in the race for a Champions League berth.

Midfielder Zurutuza and Mikel Oyarzabal both went close to giving the visitors an early lead and Sevilla defender Adil Rami headed just wide midway through the first half.

Sergio Escudero and Sarabia then threatened as Sevilla upped the tempo and the latter broke the deadlock with a low angled shot four minutes before the interval.

Sevilla chased a second goal after the restart. Samir Nasri's effort was blocked and Vitolo blazed over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.

But the visitors hit back in the 61st minute when forward Vela crashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

The former Arsenal player, who also had a loan spell at West Brom, saw an effort well saved by Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico Gonzalez soon after and then headed Alvaro Odriozola's cross just wide.

Sevilla responded through Escudero, whose shot from the tightest of angles flashed narrowly wide and after Zurutuza's dismissal Steven N'Zonzi spurned a golden chance to snatch victory for the home side when he fired off target following a corner.

Real's 10 men held on in the closing stages without further scare to secure a crucial point which lifts them level with Athletic Bilbao, who hold on to sixth place and a Europa League spot due to a superior goal difference.

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Barcelona 15 +31 39
2 Valencia 15 +21 34
3 Atletico Madrid 15 +17 33
4 Real Madrid 15 +19 31
5 Sevilla FC 16 0 29
6 Villarreal 15 +2 21
7 Getafe 15 +5 20
8 Leganes 15 -2 20
9 Girona 15 -3 20
10 Real Sociedad 15 0 19
11 Celta Vigo 15 +4 18
12 Real Betis 15 -6 18
13 Eibar 15 -11 18
14 Athletic Bilbao 15 -3 17
15 Levante 16 -7 17
16 Espanyol 15 -8 16
17 Deportivo La Coruña 15 -9 15
18 Alavés 15 -12 12
19 Málaga 15 -15 11
20 Las Palmas 15 -23 10

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