Under-fire Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez could not get the win he craved to alleviate the mounting pressure on his job with a last minute equaliser from Leandro Goida cancelling out Frederic Kanoute's penalty as Sevilla drew 1-1 at home to bottom side Xerez on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Kanoute came off the substitutes bench to score a second half penalty for Sevilla but Goida equalised in the dying seconds of the game for Xerez meaning Sevilla have failed to win any of their last seven matches in all competitions and sit a point behind fourth-placed Real Mallorca having played one game more.
Jimenez, who took over from Juande Ramos in October 2007, was fearing for his job following the UEFA Champions League exit to CSKA Moscow and some poor league performances but failure to beat basement boys Xerez at home could be the final straw. Xerez continue to prop up the table seven points from safety with games running out but celebrated their point as if it were a victory.
Injuries had ravaged Sevilla with winger Jesus Navas - the star performer this season - out for a month with an ankle injury joining Luis Fabiano, Aldo Duscher and Sebastien Squillaci on the sidelines.
Midfielder Koffi Romaric almost put Sevilla ahead on eight minutes but they also had a scare on the quarter hour mark as a cross from the left was almost deflected in by back-pedalling Sevilla defenders. The injury curse struck again for Sevilla with Argentine winger Diego Perotti and midfielder Didier Zokora both going off injured in the first half.
Mario Bermejo missed a good chance for Xerez early in the second half to draw jeers from the home crowd but they turned to cheers in the 63rd minute when Adriano won a penalty after a foul from Sidi Keita. Kanoute was the model of composure side-footing his spot-kick down the middle as the goalkeeper dived to his left.
There was some hairy moments for Sevilla and Goida scuffed in from outside the area to deny Sevilla victory and heap the pressure on Jimenez whose side have not won since a 3-1 triumph at Real Mallorca on 20 February.
La Coruna's late anguish
European hopefuls Deportivo La Coruna saw a brave fightback come to nothing as they crashed to a tenth defeat of the season at Sporting Gijon on Thursday with a stoppage time penalty from Diego Castro sealing a 2-1 win. Depor had to play 80 minutes of the game with ten men after goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia was sent off in the 10th minute for a professional foul but looked set for a point when Adrian (65 min) cancelled out Mate Bilic's opener on the half hour mark.
However, defender Alberto Lopo conceded a penalty in stoppage time and Castro made no mistake to convert as Depor, who have not won away since November, stay seventh three points behind Sevilla. Lopo was sent off for giving away the penalty while coach Miguel Angel Lotina was also dismissed for complaining to cap a miserable night for the club.
Defending champions Barcelona, level on points with Real Madrid at the top, host Osasuna at Camp Nou on Wednesday looking to reclaim top spot from Real who lead on goal difference. Lionel Messi has scored consecutive hat-tricks in his last two league outings to make it 25 league goals for the season.
Real travel to derby rivals Getafe on Thursday targeting a tenth straight league win although they will be wary of their opponents having lost the corresponding fixture 3-1 last season.