First Division - Day 18

Sevilla 3 - Málaga 1

Sevilla: Palop; Daniel Alves, David Prieto, Dragutinovic, David; Fernando Sales, (Jesús Navas 54'), Martí, Maresca, Adriano (Diego Capel 74'); Kanouté (Kepa 46'), Luis Fabiano. 4-4-2.
Málaga: Arnau; Jesús Gámez, César Navas, Fernando Sanz, Alexis; Gerardo, Anderson Silva (Chengue Morales 46'); Edgar (Antonio López 77'), Hidalgo, Nacho (Gabriel 73'); Salva. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sevilla: Daniel Alves, David, Fernando Sales, Adriano, Luis Fabiano for Crespo, Aitor Ocio, Jesús Navas, Antonio Puerta, Saviola / Málaga: Gerardo, Anderson Silva for Valcarce, Usero.

1-0. 37. Maresca. Ran on to Alves pass over top to force ball past Arnau.
1-1. 49. Salva. Steered header wide of Palop from Morales headed pass.
2-1. 66. Adriano. Turned ball in on near post from David's square pass.
3-1. 69. Dragutinovic. Connected with Navas pass to flick ball in with heel.

Sevilla moved to within a point of the European spots after beating local rivals Málaga 3-1. The visitors had become a bit of a bogey side for their hosts, having not lost in the Sánchez Pizjuan stadium in five years, and Salva could have put them ahead in the opening minutes. Arnau had to be at his best though to keep out Maresca a few minutes later, and with the game less than half an hour old Antonio Tapia's side were left with ten men after Hidalgo was sent off for a crunching tackle on the Italian midfielder.

Maresca recovered though after a short spell off the pitch, and a few minutes before the break he gave his side the lead when he got ahead of the keeper to poke a long pass by Alves into the net. Three minutes after the restart Maresca was in action again when he drove a shot against the bar, but in the next play half time substitute Chengue Morales headed a long ball across goal for Salva to steer a header past Palop.

Kepa could have restored the lead soon afterwards had he not dallied too long on the ball, but midway through the second half Adriano got on the end of David's cross to make it two. And just three minutes later centre back Dragutinovic deflty flicked a long pass from Maresca past Arnau to wrap things up. Tapia brought on new signings Gabriel and Antonio López, and the former came close to getting one back. But it was too late, and Sevilla had their revenge for last season's final day defeat which cost them a place in the Champions League.