Los Nervionenses gave their European hopes a boost as they took the spoils at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this evening, leaving the visitors in the relegation mire...Second half penalties from Frederic Kanoute and Alvaro Negredo clinched all three points for Sevilla against Real Zaragoza in Andalucia on Sunday evening, as the hosts secured a 3-1 victory.
Jiri Jarosik had cancelled out Diego Perotti's opening goal, but former Tottenham striker Kanoute made the difference from 12 yards, before Negredo also converted from the spot to grab the points for Gregorio Manzano's men.
The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan was nowhere near at capacity, but those who were in attendance watched the hosts dominate the opening 45 minutes, and create numerous opportunities.
Alvaro Negredo was the worst culprit for squandering chances, and he really should have found the net midway through the half when the ball flashed across the area, but he volleyed wildly over the crossbar.
The breakthrough arrived just before the interval, though, and saw both wingers combine to good effect. Jesus Navas burst down the right and drilled the ball across goal, and while Diogo hesitated at the back post, Perotti was on hand to slide the ball home from close range.
Zaragoza had been timid from an attacking perspective in the first half, but were far more positive in the second, and drew level minutes after half time, when Jiri Jarosik rose highest in the area to bullet home a fantastic header.
The relegation-threatened side sensed an unlikely chance to go for all three points, but the parity lasted just seven minutes. Ponzio clipped the heels of Caceres as he burst into the area on the left, leaving the referee no alternative but to point to the spot.
The veteran Kanoute stepped up and blasted the ball home, but Leo Franco will feel he could have stopped the spotkick, getting a firm hand to the strike, but the pace beat him.
Zaragoza were not done, however, and Braulio squandered a glorious opening, running clear on the left but dragged his shot off target and out of play.
In the closing stages, both Perotti and Fazio had chances to make the game safe, and eventually a wild challenge from substitute Da Silva on Negredo allowed the striker to brush himself down and calmly roll home the penalty to clinch the win.
The victory temporarily moves Sevilla into sixth spot in the table on 45 points, three ahead of Athletic Bilbao who take on Almeria on Monday. Zaragoza meanwhile remain just a point above the drop zone.
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