2020-2021 LaLiga
  • Youssef En-Nesyri (66')

Sevilla edge out Valencia to maintain slim title hopes

Sevilla players celebrate after scoring a goal against Valencia in La Liga. Getty Images

A second-half strike from Youssef En-Nesyri gave Sevilla FC a 1-0 home win over Valencia on Wednesday to keep alive their slim hopes in La Liga's title race.

Moroccan forward En-Nesyri narrowly beat the offside trap to latch on to a through ball from Fernando and score the only goal of the game in the 66th minute.

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Sevilla remain fourth in the standings after 36 games but moved on to 74 points, three behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who play at home to Real Sociedad later on Wednesday.

Valencia were left 14th in the standings on 39 points.

Julen Lopetegui's side pulled themselves into the title race at the end of last month but their hopes were hit by a 1-0 defeat at home to Athletic Bilbao on May 3, while Eden Hazard's 94th-minute equaliser in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Real Madrid was another sucker punch.

Midfielder Suso admitted that even after the victory they were not really expecting to have a chance of pipping Atletico or fellow title rivals Real or Barcelona to the crown.

"We're not really aiming to win La Liga, the Bilbao game left us devastated and the objective is now to get as many points as possible," he said.

"That defeat was a real shame as people wanted to see someone different win it. We then had a very difficult game against Madrid and got a point and today we were able to get back to winning."

Sevilla had the ball in the net early on through Suso but the goal was ruled out for offside. Midfielder Nemanja Gudelj later made an audacious attempt on goal from his own half but his shot just missed the target.

Valencia, who were playing their second game under caretaker coach Voro after sacking Javi Gracia, made a strong start to the second half and had two chances to go in front.

Portuguese winger Goncalo Guedes fed Manu Vallejo on both occasions but the midfielder could not beat Sevilla keeper Bono.

The visitors then pushed for an equaliser after En-Nesyri had broken the deadlock but Sevilla held on.