Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán on Friday night to dash their hopes of finishing third in LaLiga.
Pablo Sarabia’s first half goal was cancelled out by Sociedad’s Carlos Vela just after half time, with David Zurutuza sent off for the away side after a second yellow card in the dying minutes.
The Sevilla goalscorer’s night was marred with a yellow card to mean that he will miss Sunday’s game against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu through suspension.
Sociedad went in to the game on the back of three straight wins and Eusebio Sacristan’s side started brightly with a well-timed run from Vela beat the offside trap to force Clement Lenglet into a last-ditch challenge to earn the French defender an early yellow card.
The Estadio Anoeta outfit’s momentum continued, with Mikel Oyarzabal firing just wide to hand Sergio Rico an early test.
But Sevilla soon grew into the game as a clever Franco Vázquez pass played in Wissam Ben Yedder who dinked the ball over the keeper, only to see his effort glance wide of the far post from the apex of the six-yard box.
Samir Nasri then scooped the ball over an outstretched Sociedad leg into the path of Sergio Escudero, whose thunderous effort on the half-volley from distance forced Gerónimo Rulli into a fingertip save to stop the ball dipping in under the bar.
Sevilla’s pressure in the first half finally told on 41 minutes when good work from Ben Yedder saw the ball fall to Sarabia in the box, for the former Getafe man to chip the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper and into the far corner.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side would rue their missed chances after half time, with Sociedad reaffirming a foothold in the game.
Xabi Prieto delivered a low cross from the left flank which was cleared by Lenglet, only to ricochet off Steven NZonzi and into Vela’s path for the former Arsenal man to convert from close range on 62 minutes.
Not long after Sociedad drew level Sarabia committed himself to a sliding challenge to which he arrived a fraction late, for which the winger picked up a yellow card to rule him out of Sunday’s game against Madrid.
With Sevilla searching for a winner, Zurutuza picked up a second yellow card of the game on 79 minutes to leave his side with ten men.
And Los Nervionenses came close to making the most of the man-advantage when NZonzi fired wide with an acrobatic effort before Gabriel Mercado flashed a delivery across the face of goal without a white shirt at the back post to convert.
The referee blew for full time to leave Sevilla two points shy of Atlético Madrid in fourth place in LaLiga, having played one game more than Diego Simeone’s side.
1. SEVILLA FC: Sergio Rico, Sarabia, Mercado, Rami, Lenglet, Escudero, N’Zonzi, Nasri (Jovetic, 80′), Vitolo (Iborra, 80′), Vázquez (Ganso, 68′) and Ben Yedder.
1. REAL SOCIEDAD: Rulli, Odriozola, Íñigo Martínez, Raúl Navas, Yuri, Illarramendi, Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto, Oyarzabal (Canales, 60′), Juanmi (Granero, 88′) and Carlos Vela (Zubeldia, 81′).
GOALS: 1-0, 41′: Pablo Sarabia. 1-1, 61′: Carlos Vela.
REFEREE: González González, castellano-leonés. Zurutuza sent off for two yellow cards. Yellow cards for Lenglet, Illarramendi, ‘Mudo’ Vázquez, Mercado, Canales, Pablo Sarabia and Iñigo Martínez.