Sevilla climb to second place in Spanish league

Madrid, Dec 18 (IANS) Sevilla temporarily moved into second place in the Primera Liga with a thumping 4-1 win over Malaga.

The Jorge Sampaoli managed side climbed above reigning champions FC Barcelona on Saturday night, reports Xinhua news agency.

The game was as good as over by halftime thanks to some effective attacking play from Sevilla and some chaotic defending from Malaga.

Luciano Vietto scored twice to put Sevilla 2-0 up and Ben Yedder and Vitolo sealed the win when they made it 4-0 before halftime.

Sandro Ramirez’s free kick on 60 minutes made it 4-1 after Adil Rami had been sent off for two yellow cards, but there was no further change to the score in the remaining half hour and Sevilla close to within four points of Real Madrid.

Villarreal will spend the holiday season in the fourth place following their 3-1 win away to Sporting Gijon, who in turn will go into the New Year in the relegation zone.

Villarreal were the better side from start to finish and opened the scoring through Jonathan Dos Santos after 11 minutes before Nicola Sansome’s 6th goal of the season doubled their lead in the 19t minute.

Sporting coach Aberlado Fernandez made a double substitution 10 minutes from halftime to try and turn things around, but when Alejandro Pato capped an excellent individual display 15 minutes from time there was no doubt where the points were heading despite Carlos Carmona’ s late consolation for Sporting.

Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways with a narrow 1-0 win at home to an impressive Las Palmas, who controlled much of the play, but were unable to produce a finish, with the result that Saul Niguez’s 25-yard shot on the hour was the only goal of the game and enough to give Atletico three points they hardly deserved.

Real Sociedad also kept up the pace in fifth at the expense of Granada with second half goals from Jon Bautista and Juanmi giving them all three points against the side second from bottom of the table.