Sevilla blow chance to move top of La Liga

AFP, Sunday 2 Nov 2014

Sevilla passed up the chance to move top of La Liga as they were beaten 1-0 away to Athletic Bilbao thanks to Aritz Aduriz's stunning early strike.

Barcelona's shock defeat at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday had paved the way for Unai Emery's men to take top spot, but they were behind after just 12 minutes when Aduriz smacked home Markel Susaeta's cross.

Only a fine save from Sevilla goalkeeper Beto prevented Susaeta doubling Athletic's lead before half-time.

The Basques held firm in the second-half to record their second consecutive win and move up to 11th in the table.

Defeat leaves Sevilla in fourth, level on points with Barca and two adrift of leaders Real Madrid.

A run of seven wins in eight games had mounted hopes that Sevilla could provide an unlikely title challenge to Barca, Real and Atletico Madrid.

However, they were made to pay for a slow start as Aduriz connected perfectly with Susaeta's cross for his seventh goal of the season.

The hosts continued to enjoy the better of the first-half as Aymeric Laporte sent a free-kick just wide and Iker Muniain couldn't stretch to turn home Aduriz's cross.

Beto then made the save of the game as he spread himself to block Susaeta's angled drive.

Emery responded by introducing Ever Banega, Kevin Gameiro and on-loan Liverpool striker Iago Aspas, who had scored a hat-trick in the Copa del Rey in midweek, early in the second-half.

Yet, Sevilla remained short of ideas and Athletic comfortably saw out the second-half despite the visitors enjoying the majority of possession.

Valencia can move up to second and within a point of Real with victory over Villarreal later on Sunday.

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