Sevilla reduced the gap to Real Madrid to five points on Saturday by beating Villarreal 1-0 in La Liga, with Lucas Ocampos scoring the winner in the first half. The victory lifts Sevilla into second place, above Atletico Madrid, who play at home to Mallorca later on Saturday, before leaders Real Madrid face Real Sociedad in San Sebastian.
Villarreal have ambitions to challenge for the top four this season, but they stay 12th after continuing a miserable run of form away from home. They are yet to win an away game in the league this season. Ocampos gave Sevilla the lead in the 16th minute after Juan Foyth was dispossessed down the right, allowing Marcos Acuna to swing a cross to the back post, where Ocampos’ header trickled in. Rafa Mir thought he had added a second goal but was offside and then Sevilla spurned an excellent chance when they had a six against two on the counterattack but failed to convert. Villarreal should have made them pay in the second half only for Moreno to miss a sitter. Dani Parejo’s chipped ball was played across the box by Pervis Estupinan to the back post where Moreno, three yards out with the net gaping, somehow wafted wide.