First Division - Day 26

Sevilla 0 - Real Sociedad 1

Sevilla: Notario; Njegus, Javi Navarro, Pablo Alfaro, David; Gallardo, Casquero, Víctor Salas, Fredi (Toedtli 75'); Olivera, Moisés. 4-4-2.
Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte (Khokhlov 35'), Kvarme, Luiz Alberto, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso, Aranburu; Tayfun, Idiakez, De Pedro (Jauregui 85'); Kovacevic (De Paula 67'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sevilla: Fredi, Olivera for Torrado, Tomás / Real Sociedad: Westerveld, López Rekarte for Alberto, Nihat.

0-1. 69. De Paula. From close up after cross by De Pedro.

Real Sociedad climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since early October with a 0-1 win at Sevilla, their third victory in four matches. It was an entertaining match, particularly in the first half when both sides played open, attacking football, and it was a surprise when nobody had opened the scoring by half time. Joaquín Caparrós had picked a forward looking side, and although Reyes had still not recovered from his training accident, the manager included three front men, Moisés, Olivera and Víctor in his line up. Gallardo though was just off with his passing, and Westerveld, returning to Real's goal, played his best game since signing in the winter with important stops from Moisés and Olivera.

Toshack though wanted the three points, and Notario was forced into a good save from Tayfun early on. The Basques kept up the pressure in the second half, and after referee Esquinas Torres ruled out an Idiakez goal for offside, Kovacevic sent a header just over the bar. The manager called for reinforcements, bringing on super-sub De Paula, and for the third time in four games he scored a vital goal, turning De Pedro's cross under the despairing Notario for the winner only two minutes after coming on. After that it was all hands on deck, fighting tooth and nail to safeguard their victory, although Olivera almost spoilt their evening when he fired in a shot near the end only to see Westerveld pull off another spectacular save. The usual late revival has begun, to the detriment of a Sevilla side who have now only picked up two points in their last four games. Nothing to worry about for the time being for Caparrós, with his team still in tenth place, although a result at Mallorca next week may do wonders to calm their nerves.