First Division - Day 32

Sevilla 3 - Espanyol 1

Sevilla: Palop; Daniel Alves, Aitor Ocio, Dragutinovic, David; Jesús Navas (Renato 74'), Poulsen, Maresca (Martí 65'), Antonio Puerta; Kerzhakov (Alfaro 65'), Chevantón. 4-4-2.
Espanyol: Kameni; Zabaleta, Torrejón, Serrán (Jarque 06'), Velasco; Edu Costa, Ito; Rufete, Jonatas (Julián 24'), Riera (Palanca 68'); Corominas. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sevilla: Palop, Dragutinovic, Maresca, Chevantón for Cobeño, Escudé, Renato, Luis Fabiano / Espanyol: Serrán, Velasco, Edu Costa, Ito, Rufete, for Jarque, Chica, Moisés Hurtado, Luis García, Pandiani.

1-0. 51. Antonio Puerta. Turned ball into net after Kerzhakov header blocked.
2-0. 53. Chevantón. Hooked ball past Kameni while lying on ground in area.
2-1. 60. Corominas. Ran on to Julián pass and shot wide of Palop.
3-1. 74. Martí. Picked up throw-in and drove long shot under Kameni.

Sevilla hold on to second spot, a point behind leaders Barcelona and a point ahead of Real Madrid, after a 3-1 victory over Espanyol. The two sides may well meet in the UEFA Cup final in a few weeks' time, but it was the Andalusians who were on top in the first half, with Dragutinovic hitting the bar after Kameni dropped Chevantón's free kick at his feet, and Kameni making good saves afterwards from Kerzhakov and Chevantón.

It was not until the opening minutes of the second half though that they opened the scoring, Antonio Puerta turning the ball in from close range after a defender had blocked Kerzhakov's header. Just two minutes later though they had a second after Chevantón was forced down inside the area, the striker appearing to touch the ball with his arm but then hooking it past Kameni whilst lying on the ground as the visiting defenders stood watching the referee.

Valverde had had to make two early changes to an already depleted squad, youngster Serrán being replaced by Jarque early on and Jonatas limping off to be replaced by another youngster, Julián. With an hour on the clock Julián played through Coro for him to get one back, but a few minutes later Martí picked up a long throw-in and ran on to beat Kameni for a third time. Chevantón did go close with a free kick later on, but by then both sides were already thinking of their UEFA cup semi-finals.