First Division - Day 29

Sevilla: Notario; Njegus, Javi Navarro, Pablo Alfaro, David; Casquero (Víctor Salas 70'), Torrado; Marcos Vales, Reyes, Fredi (Gallardo 46'); Antoñito (Machlas 75'). 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Reina; Belletti, Quique Alvarez, Unai, Arruabarrena; Farinós (Quique Medina 61'), Josico (Calleja 85'); Guayre, Víctor, Jorge López; De Nigris (Palermo 78'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sevilla: Njegus, Fredi for Redondo, Gallardo / Villarreal: Quique Alvarez, Farinós for Ballesteros, Quique Medina.

1-0. 09. Reyes. Cut in past defence and hit low shot past Reina.
1-1. 18. Jorge López. Cut in from left and hit shot past keeper from wide angle.
2-1. 81. Machlas. Dived forward to connect with Gallardo cross from right.
3-1. 91. Machlas. Beat offside trap to pick up Reyes pass and shoot round Reina.

Sevilla moved up into sixth spot after defeating Villarreal 3-1, and can now start to dream of a possible place in Europe next season. The hero of the night was their recent signing Machlas, who came on as substitute to score his first two goals for his new club in the last ten minutes of the game. Sevilla had started well, with Antoñito shooting over the bar and Marcos Vales wasting another chance soon afterwards, and in the ninth minute Reyes put them in front with an individualist goal, ghosting through the defence to shoot wide of Reina.

However Villarreal got back in the game when Jorge López made it all square midway through the first half, cutting in from the left wing and beating Notario from an almost impossible tight angle. Guayre and De Nigris both missed chances to put the visitors ahead in the second half, but Reyes thought himself unlucky not to have a penalty when brought down by Farinós in the area.

Caparrós made three changes though which were to prove vital, and ten minutes from the end Gallardo found Machlas with a long ball for him to head the locals in front. Then in the last minute of the game the Greek striker was there again to finish things off on a rapid counterattack. Sevilla's first objective of ensuring continuity in the top flight appears to have already been achieved, and they can now go on to face the big four with confidence (incidentally their game against Real Madrid will be in the Cartuja Olympic stadium). Villarreal drop back to within two points of the relegation zone, and their fight to avoid relegation still has a long way to go.