Sevilla 1-1 Real Sociedad: Hosts edge closer to Champions League spot
Last Updated: 06/05/17 12:14am
Sevilla edged closer to sealing a Champions League place despite being pegged back by Real Sociedad in a 1-1 home draw.
Pablo Sarabia's strike deep in the first half gave Sevilla the lead, but Carlos Vela equalised in the second half for the visitors, who held on to keep their Europa League hopes alive despite the late dismissal of David Zurutuza.
Zurutuza was sent off with 11 minutes remaining when his foul on Vitolo earned him a second yellow card, five minutes after he had been booked for his challenge on Sarabia.
Sevilla lie fourth in La Liga, six points clear of closest rivals Villarreal in the race for a Champions League place.
Midfielder Zurutuza and Mikel Oyarzabal both went close to giving the visitors an early lead and Sevilla defender Adil Rami headed just wide midway through the first half.
Sergio Escudero and Sarabia then threatened as Sevilla upped the tempo and the latter broke the deadlock with a low angled shot four minutes before the interval.
Sevilla chased a second goal after the restart. Samir Nasri's effort was blocked and Vitolo blazed over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.
But the visitors hit back in the 61st minute when Vela crashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
The former Arsenal forward, who also had a loan spell at West Brom, saw an effort well saved by Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico Gonzalez soon after and then headed Alvaro Odriozola's cross just wide.
Sevilla responded through Escudero, whose shot from the tightest of angles flashed narrowly wide and after Zurutuza's dismissal Steven N'Zonzi spurned a golden chance to snatch victory for the home side when he fired off target following a corner.
Real's 10 men held on in the closing stages without further scare to secure a crucial point which lifts them level with Athletic Bilbao, who hold on to sixth place due to a superior goal difference.