Sevilla pile pressure on Barca

Sevilla's Andre Silva reacts during the Spanish League football match against Girona at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Sevilla Sunday. — AFP

MADRID — Sevilla reclaimed second place in La Liga Sunday as second-half strikes from Ever Banega and Pablo Sarabia sealed a 2-0 win over Girona which moved them level on points with leaders Barcelona.

Pablo Machin's side is unbeaten in seven league games since a 4-2 loss at Barca in October.

The hosts had to wait until the 55th minute to break the deadlock, when striker Andre Silva was tripped in the area by Girona defender Juanpe.

Argentinian Banega stepped up to send visiting goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The points were wrapped up only nine minutes later, as Wissam Ben Yedder cut the ball back for the onrushing Sarabia to slide home his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.

"In the first half they (Girona) were very good," said Machin. "They were very organised and had good chances, when (Sevilla goalkeeper) Tomas (Vaclik) was splendid.

"In the second half we were the better team."

On Saturday, Atletico Madrid had also drawn level on points with Barcelona as Antoine Griezmann's 80th-minute strike grabbed a 3-2 victory at Real Valladolid, while Real Madrid sit just two points adrift after edging out Rayo Vallecano 1-0. — AFP