SEVILLA BOOST EUROPEAN HOPES
Sevilla boosted their bid for a European berth after climbing back into the top 10 of the Primera Division standings with a convincing 3-0 victory at Andalusian rivals Granada.
Spain international Alvaro Negredo gave Sevilla a half-time lead and Manu del Moral added two more after the break as Michel's side recorded their second 3-0 away win in five days having also downed Racing Santander by the same scoreline on Thursday.
The victory sees Sevilla, who have had a disappointing campaign to date, move level with eighth-placed Atletico Madrid on 39 points, eight adrift of fourth-placed Malaga and four behind Osasuna in sixth.
Granada, in contrast, are struggling at the wrong end of the table and they are now just six points above the relegation zone after slumping to their fifth defeat in six games.
Both sides were quickly causing problems for the opposing defence on Tuesday night, with Sevilla winger Jose Antonio Reyes bringing a finger-tip save out of Roberto Fernandez in the 10th minute, while visiting keeper Andres Palop did well to parry away two separate efforts from Ikechukwu Uche soon after.
Mikel Rico Moreno spurned another chance for Granada in the 35th minute when his close-range header from Abel Gomez's corner went wide, and four minutes after that Sevilla were in front when Negredo slotted in Reyes' pass.
That was a huge setback for Granada coming just before half-time, but the home side regrouped and were back on the attack at the start of the second half with Dani Benitez testing Palop while Uche and Henrique both tried their luck without hitting the target.
Granada's bid to get something out of the game suffered a hammer blow in the 54th minute, though, when they conceded a second goal.
Negredo turned provider on that occasion with a cross in from the left that Manu slotted into the bottom corner of the net.
That appeared to knock the fight out of the hosts, and Sevilla almost made it 3-0 in 65th minute when Manu and Ivan Rakitic were both denied by brilliant saves from Fernandez in quick succession.
Fernandez also kept out a Jesus Navas shot in the 80th minute, while four minutes from time Negredo saw a left-footed strike smash against the crossbar.
The visitors would finally get the third goal they had been threatening though, with Manu notching his second of the night three minutes into stoppage time, the striker slotting in the rebound after Fernandez had blocked Navas' shot with his feet.
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