First Division - Day 38

Sevilla 0 - Villarreal 1

Sevilla: Palop; Hinkel (Maresca 46'), Escudé, Aitor Ocio, David; Alfaro, Poulsen, Martí, Antonio Puerta (Chevantón 58'); Luis Fabiano (Kerzhakov 58'), Kanouté. 4-4-2.
Villarreal: Viera; Javi Venta, Quique Alvarez, Fuentes, José Enrique; Cani, Josico (Somoza 39'), Marcos Senna, Pires; Guille Franco (Nihat 79'), Tomasson (Arruabarrena 87'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Sevilla: Escudé, Aitor Ocio, David, Alfaro, Kanouté for Javi Navarro, Dragutinovic, Daniel Alves, Renato, Adriano / Villarreal: Quique Alvarez, Marcos Senna, Tomasson for Gonzalo, Tacchinardi, Diego Forlán.

0-1. 51. Fuentes. Steered header into top corner of net from Cani's corner.

Sevilla ended the league in third spot after they were beaten 0-1 by Villarreal in their last match before the cup final. Juande Ramos was missing Daniel Alves on international duty (he will be back for the final), and also rested a couple of his key players for that game. The Andalusians still had an outside chance of the league title, albeit that they started the day two points behind Real Madrid and Barcelona, but their opponents also had a lot at stake, with Zaragoza and Atlético challenging them for one of the two UEFA cup spots.

The early chances fell to the locals, with Puerta shooting just wide and Luis Fabiano heading past the far post. There was little else to liven up a dull first half though, and the news at half time that at least Barcelona were well ahead took most of the wind out of Sevilla's sails. Palop had to turn a shot from Pires away for a corner soon after the restart, and Fuentes got on the end of Cani's kick to head the visitors into the lead.

To his credit Juande Ramos did throw on all his fire power, and Chevantón shot just wide soon after coming on. But Guille Franco and Tomasson could have increased the lead, and Pellegrini's side held on for an eighth win in a row which takes them up to a very reputable fifth place.