Football: Sevilla title hopes hit new setback with Leganes draw

Sevilla's Stevan Jovetic (left) celebrates with Wissam Ben Yedder after scoring.
Sevilla's Stevan Jovetic (left) celebrates with Wissam Ben Yedder after scoring.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Sevilla's hopes of winning a first La Liga title since 1946 were dented for the second time in five days as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home against struggling Leganes on Saturday (March 11) and dropped points for the second game running.

Sevilla are third in the table on 57 points, three behind leaders Barcelona, who visit Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, and two behind Real Madrid, who host Real Betis also on Sunday and have an extra game in hand on both their title rivals.

Gabriel Pires gave Leganes a shock third minute lead with a clever backheel from close range and the Madrid outfit, who are 16th, missed two more chances to double the lead.

Stevan Jovetic pulled Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla side level two minutes before halftime after Fernando Vazquez had an effort narrowly ruled offside but Sevilla barely threatened to find a winner in a disappointing display after the break.

They were booed off by supporters after again failing to win following Monday's 1-1 draw at Alaves.

Sevilla visit Premier League champions Leicester City on Tuesday in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with a slender 2-1 lead.

"Playing like this we're going to struggle to go far in the Champions League because you face the toughest games against opponents who don't afford you any mistakes," Sampaoli told reporters.

"If we don't manage to improve the way we control games then Tuesday's game is going to be very difficult. Then again, we haven't lost for eight games, but we have to try and do much better than we have been doing recently."

Valencia's Munir El Haddadi struck late to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to relegation-threatened Sporting Gijon. Dani Parejo missed a penalty for the hosts just before Duje Cop put Sporting ahead on the hour.

Malaga coach Michel, the former Real Madrid winger, endured a difficult first game in charge as they lost 2-1 at home to Alaves due to an added-time strike by Edgar Mendez.

Later on Saturday fourth-placed Atletico Madrid visit struggling Granada.