Sevilla top Real Betis 1-0 in Spanish league derby
MADRID: Sevilla provisionally moved to second place in the Spanish league after defeating Real Betis 1-0 in the Seville derby on Tuesday.
Argentine defender Gabriel Mercado scored the winning goal from a free kick delivered by midfielder Samir Nasri in the 51st minute at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium. Mercado redirected the ball just enough to beat goalkeeper Antonio Adan.
"It was a great atmosphere," Mercado said. "I'm incredibly happy to have experienced this, scoring a goal and helping the team earn this victory."
Sevilla reached 11 points with its third win in five games, moving to within a point of leader Real Madrid, which hosts Villarreal on Wednesday with a chance to win its fifth match in a row.
Third-place Barcelona, three points behind Madrid, plays fifth-place Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
Just two minutes after Sevilla took the lead, Real Betis had a goal by Alex Alegria disallowed because of offside, although replays indicated it should have counted.
"We didn't deserve to lose this match," Real Betis midfielder Joaquin Sanchez said. "We played with intensity and had our chances, but we let them score on a set piece. A lot of times matches like this are decided on details. We didn't have luck on our side."
Betis stayed with five points, dropping to 13th in the standings.
Malaga 2, Eibar 1
Teenage Moroccan striker Youssef En-Nesyri scored a 76th-minute winner to give Malaga its first league victory.
Nano put the visitors ahead from inside the area in the 42nd but Sandro equalized for Malaga two minutes later and En-Nesyri sealed the win by curling a left-foot shot into the far corner after a breakaway. The 19-year-old Moroccan, one of Malaga's most promising players, was making his first-team debut at home.
Malaga had lost two in a row after consecutive draws in its first two games. It provisionally moved to 12th in the 20-team standings with five points from as many matches.
Eibar hadn't lost since a 2-1 result at Deportivo La Coruna in its opener. The Basque club remains seventh in the standings with seven points.