First Division - Day 23

Sevilla 2 - Villarreal 1

Sevilla: Esteban; Daniel Alves, Aitor Ocio, Pablo Alfaro, David; Martí, Renato; Fernando Sales (Jesús Navas 68', Redondo 82'), Baptista, Adriano; Antoñito (Carlitos 65'). 4-2-3-1.
Reina; Javi Venta, Quique Alvarez, Gonzalo Rodríguez, Arruabarrena; Battaglia, Marcos Senna; Guayre (José Marí 46'), Riquelme, Sorín (Héctor Font 64'); Diego Forlán (Figueroa 70'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sevilla: Aitor Ocio, Baptista for David Prieto, Makukula / Villarreal: Gonzalo Rodríguez, Battaglia for Peña, Héctor Font.

1-0. 36. Baptista. Got on the end of Sales cross to steer header past Reina.
2-0. 80. Baptista (penalty). After Battaglia fouled Aitor Ocio in area.
2-1. 86. Riquelme (penalty). Following push by Aitor Ocio on Figueroa in area.

Sevilla and Villarreal lined up knowing that, after Valencia's defeat the day before, the winner of their match would end the weekend in third spot. And it was the home side who finally took the three points, their 2-1 victory ending their opponents' run of nine games without defeat. Renato had tested Reina before Baptista put the locals in front, heading a Fernando Sales cross past the keeper late in the first half. And he could have got a second had Reina not been at his best before the half time whistle.

The Andalusians kept up the pressure after the break, Reina and Gonzalo between them just keeping out an effort from Jesús Navas. And with ten minutes to go referee Iturralde González ruled that Aitor Ocio had been fouled by Battaglia in the area, Baptista converting the resulting penalty for his eighteenth goal in all competitions this season. It appeared to be all over, but Iturralde awarded another hotly disputed penalty at the other end five minutes later, this time Aitor Ocio the perpetrator on substitute Lucho Figueroa. Ocio had to leave the field after being shown a second yellow card, and Riquelme drove home the spot kick to set up a nervous last few minutes for the hosts.