Second-placed Sevilla defeated their bitter rivals Real Betis 2-1 on Sunday to close the gap on the La Liga leaders Real Madrid to six points. Julen Lopetegui’s team dominated the derby from the beginning and Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a penalty after the goalkeeper Claudio Bravo had tripped the striker Youssef En Nesyri in a one-on-one challenge inside the area.
Four minutes before the break Munir El Haddadi, who had come on minutes earlier for the injured Papu Gomez, took advantage of a mistake from the Betis defence to win the ball and put a low cross-shot between Bravo and his left post. Sergio Canales scored the consolation goal for Betis in stoppage time with a perfect free-kick from the edge of the box that went into the top-left corner.
Sevilla moved up to 54 points from 26 games, eight ahead of Betis in third but still behind Real Madrid, who lead with 60. After one win in their past five league games, Sevilla needed victory to keep alive their ambitions of winning the title for the first time since 1946. They stepped up with a convincing performance against the in-form Betis, who had been homing in on second place as their local rivals struggled.
“We will fight until the end,” Munir said. “I started on the bench and was enjoying how my teammates were playing. Going on and scoring is awesome. Winning a Seville derby is incredible; it will be a long Sunday night of celebration for our fans.”
In Madrid, with four goals from four shots Yéremy Pino became the first Villarreal player to score four times in a Spanish league game. Pino scored a hat-trick before half-time and added another goal in the second half of Villarreal’s 5-1 rout of Espanyol at home.
The 19-year-old Spain forward had never before scored more than one goal in a game. He is the third youngest four-goal scorer in the history of the Spanish league.
It was the eighth win for Villarreal in their past 11 league games, with their only defeat at Elche in January. Unai Emery’s team were coming off a 1-1 draw at home against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Keidi Baré scored Espanyol’s goal in the second half. Villarreal’s fifth goal was scored by Boulaye Dia near the end of the game at the La Cerámica Stadium.
The win moved Villarreal to fifth place, three points behind the fourth-placed Atlético Madrid, who won 2-0 at Celta Vigo on Saturday. The league leaders Real Madrid won 1-0 at Rayo Vallecano on the same day. Espanyol’s winless run reached eight matches in all competitions, with five defeats and three draws. They remain in 14th place.
Borussia Dortmund slipped up with a 1-1 draw at Augsburg on Sunday to drop eight points behind the Bundeliga leaders Bayern Munich and suffer a setback in the title race. The Ruhr valley club took the lead with a solo effort from Thorgan Hazard in the 35th minute but eased off, allowing Augsburg to snatch a 78th-minute equaliser through Noah Sarenren Bazee.
The result left Dortmund on 50 points in second place, eight behind Bayern, who beat Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 on Saturday. Bayer Leverkusen are third on 44. Dortmund were looking to bounce back from their midweek Europa League exit to Rangers but were still without their star striker Erling Haaland and had also lost their captain Marco Reus because of a knock.
The visitors needed Hazard’s superb individual skills to take the lead, with the Belgian cutting into the box, wrongfooting two markers and rifling in. Donyell Malen came close to a second goal in the 51st when his shot was tipped on to the bar by the Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz.
Dortmund, however, gave the hosts space to come forward and Augsburg capitalised on that when Iago sent the ball into the box and Sarenren Bazee drilled in his header to level.
In Ligue 1, the substitute Yoann Touzghar scored an 89th-minute equaliser as struggling Troyes held second-placed Marseille to a 1-1 draw on Sunday. Dimitri Payet scored a first-half penalty for the visitors after Mama Baldé fouled Matteo Guendouzi.
But Touzghar slid in to score from close range in the final minute to leave Marseille on 47 points from 26 games, 15 points behind the runaway leaders Paris St Germain and one ahead of Nice in third. Although the draw left Troyes 17th, they are one of four sides on 22 points at the foot of the table along with Bordeaux, St Etienne and Metz.
Two late goals from Stade de Reims helped them to a 2-1 comeback victory against Monaco, who had taken the lead on 55 minutes through Ligue 1 leading scorer Wissam Ben Yedder as he netted his 15th goal of the season.
That was the way it stayed until six minutes from the end when Monaco’s Kevin Volland headed the ball into his own net, but worse was to follow as teenager Nathanael Mbuku scored a winner from a quick Reims counterattack deep into injury-time. The goal came after Monaco’s Brazilian midfielder Jean Lucas received a second yellow card minutes earlier.
Lens inflicted a fifth successive defeat on Angers and moved up to sixth in the table with their 2-1 away success. Bordeaux were held to a 1-1 draw at Clermont while Lorient did their survival hopes the world of good with a 1-0 victory at 10-man Brest. Metz drew 0-0 with Nantes.