Sevilla edge Getafe 1-0 to stay close to leader Real Madrid

AP , Sunday 9 Jan 2022

Sevilla maintained its momentum in the Spanish league on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Getafe to stay close to leader Real Madrid.

Rafa Mir
Getafe s Togolese defender Djene Dakonam (L) challenges Sevilla s Spanish forward Rafa Mir during the Spanish league football match between Sevilla FC and Getafe CF at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville on January 9, 2022. AFP

Rafa Mir scored the winner in the first half to move Sevilla within five points of Madrid with a game in hand. Madrid beat Valencia 4-1 at home on Saturday.

It was the fifth victory in the last six matches for Sevilla, with its only setback a home draw against Barcelona when Sevilla played most of the second half with 10 men.

Seeking its first league title since its lone triumph in 1945-46, Sevilla is unbeaten in the league since a loss at Madrid in November.

``We'll try to keep this dynamic match after match and then we'll see what happens when it's all over,'' Mir said.

Getafe had stunned Madrid 1-0 in the last round. It was unbeaten in six straight rounds _ a run that moved the team out of the relegation zone after a poor start to its season. It stayed in 16th place, two points from the relegation zone.

It was Sevilla's sixth straight league win against Getafe, all without conceding.

The hosts opened the scoring at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium with Mir's neat back-flick goal from close range in the 22nd minute after a nice run by Lucas Ocampos through the right flank.

Mir redirected Ocampos' cross and the ball just barely got past the legs of a defender and went underneath the hands of Getafe goalkeeper David Soria.

``I didn't expect Mir to get to the ball and I was late trying to reach for it,'' said Soria, a former Sevilla goalkeeper. ``It was an unfortunate mistake. It happens.''

Mir had two goals disallowed for offside, one in each half.

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde had to be replaced at halftime because of a injury.

Sevilla got the win despite playing without goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and strikers Youssef En-Nesyri and Munir El Haddadi, who are with the Moroccan national team at the African Cup of Nations.

Betis hold on

Third-place Real Betis held on to a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano despite playing a man down from the 33rd minute following a red card for defender Alex Moreno.

Rayo had entered the match with the league's best home record, with eight wins and one draw.

Manuel Pellegrini's Betis took the lead with a goal by Sergio Canales in first-half stoppage time. The hosts equalized with Ivan Balliu in the 70th.

Betis is 10 points behind Seville rival Sevilla. Rayo is seventh.

Fifth-place Atletico Madrid later visits Villarreal without Antoine Griezmann after he reinjured his right thigh midweek in a Copa del Rey match. Villarreal has won four straight in the league, scoring five goals in each of its last two victories.

Midtable Athletic Bilbao visit Alaves in a Basque Country derby, while Cadiz plays at Osasuna.

After this round, Atletico and Athletic will join Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup that will be staged in Saudi Arabia.

Barcelona drew 1-1 at Granada in the league on Saturday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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