Sevilla edge Gijon to go fourth
Sevilla scored a 2-1 victory to move to fourth in the Primera Division after heaping more misery on winless Sporting Gijon and their under-pressure coach Manuel Preciado.
The rock-bottom visitors battled hard and had their chances but poor finishing and some fine goalkeeping from Sevilla's Javi Varas kept them at bay.
A stunning opener from Manu del Moral set Sevilla on their way and the Andalucians moved two up courtesy of Martin Caceres' close-range header 12 minutes after half-time. David Barral pulled one back but Sporting could not find an equaliser and remained three points adrift at the foot of the standings.
Sporting matched Sevilla in the opening exchanges but fell behind after 15 minutes when Manu cut in from the left before firing a magnificent right-footed shot into the top right-hand corner for his first goal since joining from Getafe in the summer.
Sporting twice threatened an equaliser before the break, Oscar Trejo seeing a powerful header saved by Varas and Barral firing over from close range after latching onto a right-wing cross.
Sevilla rode their luck and doubled their advantage 12 minutes before half-time. Ivan Rakitic whipped in a free-kick from the right which Julien Escude headed on to the bar and Caceres followed up to nod in.
Sporting gave themselves hope after 64 minutes when the lively Miguel de las Cuevas escaped down the right and his low cross was turned in at the far post by Barral.
Sevilla almost restored their two-goal advantage immediately when Fredi Kanoute headed another Rakitic free-kick inches wide.
The visitors pushed for an equaliser and Andre Castro saw a snap-shot saved by Varas before, in the final minute, a free-kick into the area was not cleared and Alberto Botia's volley on the turn was superbly parried round the post by the home goalkeeper.