Sevilla ground out a 2-1 away win against Espanyol, thanks to goals from Carlos Bacca and Vicente Iborra, but can thank referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, who looked favourably upon the away side with a number of decisions.
Unai Emrey’s side dropped two points late on at home to Valencia last week, and were determined to avoid a repeat, but the away side were nearly behind after 10 minutes as Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia had the goal at him mercy, but smacked the post.
The home side also had an early penalty shout waved away despite Krychowiak appearing to tug on the shorts of Sergio Garcia in the penalty area.
Carlos Bacca ran through on goal, with options to his left in a three-versus-two situation, but the Colombian elected to go solo, and eventually fired a meek effort into the palms of Kiko Casilla.
However Bacca wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice and eventually found the back of the net, in a move that saw the 27-year-old involved from start to finish.
The forward nodded down Carrico’s pass to Aleix Vidal, who put the ball out wide to the overlapping Coke, who then fed Bacca with a low cross and the Colombian stabbed the ball home.
Very little went the way of the home side, and they were again denied a spot kick after Paco Montanes was bundled over in the area by Coke.
Espanyol had every right to feel aggrieved by the decision, and their fans let referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco know of their grievances, with the first half ending in a chorus of boos aimed at the official.
Sergio Gonzalez's side went in search of an equaliser in the second half, but it was Sevilla who scored next.
Vicente Iborra rose highest from Denis Suarez’s free kick and headed past Kiko Casilla, despite Stuani appearing to be upended by Bacca in the build up.
But Espanyol wasted little time feeling sorry for themselves, and halved the deficit five minutes later thanks to Christian Stuani.
Victor Sanchez crossed the ball to the far post and found the striker unmarked at the far post who sent a looping header over keeper Barbosa.
Unai Emery and his men weren't going to settle for a slender 2-1 lead, and the 42-year-old manager brought on the attacking talents of Ever Benega and Gerard Deulofeu.
Neither side were resting on their laurels, with Espanyol desperately pressing for an equaliser. But Aleix Vidal passed an opportunity to kill off the match for Sevilla, firing wide after good work down the right hand side by substitute Diogo Figueiras.
Nico Pareja’s late free-kick thundered off the crossbar, but luckily for Vidal and Pajera, two goals were enough to see off a spirited Espanyol side that could’ve been on top had a few decisions gone their way.
Goals: Bacca (SEV), Stuani (ESP), Iborra (SEV)
Bookings: Colotto (ESP), Vitolo (ESP), Kiko Casilla (ESP), Victor Sanchez (SEV), Fernando Navarro (SEV)
Espanyol: Kiko Casilla, Victor Álvarez, Diego Colotto, Álvarez González, Javi López, Victor Sánchez, Paco Montanes (Lucas Vázquez), Abraham ( Joan Jordan) , Salva Sevilla (Jairo), Stuani, Sergio Garcia
Sevilla: Mariano Barbosa, Coke (Diogo Figueirias), Fernando Navarro, Daniel Carrico, Nicolás Pareja, Aleix Vidal, Vitolo (Gerard Deuloeu), Grzegorz Kychwiak, Iborra, Denis Suarez (Ever Benega), Carlos Bacca
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