Negredo double lifts Sevilla past Mallorca
© AFP

Alvaro Negredo led a Sevilla charge into fifth place as his brace helped edge out Real Mallorca with a 3-2 scoreline.

The 27-year-old took his tally for the season to sixth with a well-taken double strike, with Cicinho then wrapping up a win that Michel`s side deserved entirely.

They made all of the running, with Jesus Navas almost unplayable on the wing, and that they trailed at half-time to goals from Pedro Bigas and Tomer Hemed was something of an injustice.

But Negredo`s predatory instincts kept them alive and they are now level with fourth-placed Real Madrid thanks to an excellent performance.

Navas led the way and was on a one-man mission to give Sevilla an early lead, twice hitting over after getting himself into a good position, before Negredo offered him support when he drew a close-range save out of Dudu Aouat.

Jose Campana was the next Rojiblanco to try his luck, dragging a shot wide from the edge of the area, and it appeared as though it was a matter of time before Sevilla scored.

It would not work out that way, though, as, with their first real attack, Mallorca opened things up in the 26th minute, with Bigas getting free at the near post to tuck away Giovani dos Santos` cross.

Negredo was quick to level things up, however, giving the hosts a deserved goal of their own when he pounced on a loose ball three minutes later but, just 77 seconds after that, Mallorca led again.

Dos Santos was again the provider, this time squaring for Hemed who continues to impress on the biggest stage.

Sevilla`s response came from Navas - a fizzer from range that went over - before Negredo worked Aouat from six yards just before the break.

The home side certainly did not deserve to head to the dressing rooms behind, but the finishing of Negredo ensured they were level after 56 minutes, with the former Real Madrid man nodding in Cicinho`s cross.

The same man then failed to convert a Navas centre, with the winger then missing from Negredo`s tee-up but, with 16 minutes left, Navas did what he did best, crossing for Cicinho who finally gave Sevilla the lead they deserved.

There was no keeping Navas out of the action and he was soon putting a strike just wide, but a fourth was not needed as Sevilla eased home.