Piatti shines at Sevilla
Pablo Piatti struck two brilliant goals as lowly Almeria recorded only their second win of the season after downing freefalling Andalusian neighbours Sevilla - who crashed to their fifth successive defeat in all competitions.
Fabian Vargas put second-bottom Almeria ahead in the 48th minute of a hugely entertaining encounter before Piatti sealed the points with two memorable efforts in the final nine minutes - the first a stunning 25-yard strike and the other a clever backheel.
Frederic Kanoute, who had missed a first-half penalty for Sevilla, had made it 2-1 immediately after Piatti`s first goal but Gregorio Manzano`s side could make no further in-roads and they finished the match with ten men when Alexis was sent off in the 88th minute.
The evening started promisingly enough for Sevilla and they came agonisingly close to taking the lead when, in the fourth minute, Jose Carlos Fernandez`s curling effort from the edge of the box hit the underside of the Almeria crossbar and bounced down onto the line before being grabbed by Diego Alves.
Kanoute spurns spotikick
Kanoute then saw a low shot saved by Alves before Sevilla won a penalty in the 20th minute when Renato Dirnei`s cross from the left struck Vargas' hand as he attempted to block. Kanoute's penalty was comfortably saved by Alves, though, and it was largely all downhill for the hosts after that as Almeria made the most of their escape.
The visitors tested Palop with decent efforts from Piatti (twice) and Kalu Uche prior to half-time before then taking the lead immediately after the restart through Vargas.
Uche's header from a corner was blocked on the line by Renato but the rebound fell kindly to Vargas, whose header was adjudged to have just crossed the line before Renato smashed it against the underside of the crossbar and then away from goal.
That would have been a demoralising blow for Sevilla but they almost drew level in the 58th minute following a good run by Alvaro Negredo, but Alves was able to block the Spain striker`s close-range shot. Piatti and Alexis were then denied by fine saves by Palop and Alves, respectively, as both sides continued to create good chances.
Palop was left grasping thin air in the 81st minute, however, as Piatti netted a memorable goal, the young Argentinian superbly turning onto his favoured left foot 25 yards out before unleashing a thunderous shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.
Sevilla briefly gave themselves a lifeline as they pulled a goal back 60 seconds later through the unmarked Kanoute, who side-footed into the roof of the net following Lautaro Acosta cross, but that turned out to be nothing more than a consolation goal on another forgettable night for the UEFA Europa League participants.
They lost centre-back Alexis to a second yellow card in the 89th minute for an arm across the face of Carlos Garcia as the duo challenged for a high ball, and then Almeria added a third goal moments later. Juanma Lillo's cut-back to the near post was cheekily flicked past Palop with his heel by the inrushing Piatti, condemning Sevilla to a third successive home defeat in La Liga.