Mallorca draw fades Sevilla's hopes
Sevilla's hopes of breaking into the top four of La Liga were effectively ended with a 2-2 draw at Mallorca tonight. Overhauling the nine-point gap between themselves and fourth-placed Villarreal was always going to be a tough task, but this loss of points leaves them little hope.
Akihiro Ienaga gave Mallorca the lead with a 16th-minute header, only for Alvaro Negredo to level from the penalty spot. However, a moment of brilliance from Jonathan De Guzman restored Mallorca's lead, before a glaring error from goalkeeper Dudu Aouate allowed Ivan Rakitic to level for a second time.
The home side took the lead through Ienaga, but the goal owed plenty to the brilliance of winger Gonzalo Castro. He picked up the ball on the left of the Sevilla box and, stood up a delightful cross that drew in and evaded Javi Varas, affording Ienaga all the time in the world to pick his spot with a free header.
The lead would not last for too long, though, as Ivan Ramis, with 31 minutes on the clock, went into a challenge with Negredo. Although he seemed to get a touch on the ball, he also floored the former Real Madrid man who dusted himself down and scored from the spot.
Castro was one of the game's outstanding performers and three minutes before the break he robbed Federico Fazio of possession and rolled the ball to De Guzman who ran on 20 metres before slamming into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
After the break, Rios Rodri could have done better with a free header for Sevilla, before Rakitic drilled in from just inside the area after Aouate came for a ball Jose Carlos Nunes looked to be dealing with and bundled it straight to the waiting midfielder.
De Guzman was twice denied by Varas as Mallorca pushed for a winner, and Rodri had a late chance for the visitors, but there was no further scoring.