Madrid: Sevilla boosted their European hopes with a comfortable 3-0 home victory over 10-man Sporting Gijon to move level on points with sixth-placed Athletic Bilbao.
Brazilian international forward Luis Fabiano opened the scoring from the penalty spot yesterday for his ninth league goal of the season with Diego Perotti and Alvaro Negredo also on target in a convincing home win.
It was Sevilla`s fourth game in nine hectic days but the hosts were aided by the first half sending off of Gijon midfielder Sebastian Eguren.
Eguren fouled Fabiano to concede a penalty on 28 minutes and Sporting had to stomach a double punishment as the Uruguayan was given a red card.
Fabiano made no mistake thumping a low penalty into the bottom left hand corner.
Minutes later Federico Fazio hit the crossbar with a downward header before Argentine Perotti made it 2-0 with a fine first time volley.
Negredo scored a third in the second half as Sevilla climbed to seventh while Sporting hover one point above the relegation zone.
Earlier on Tuesday Real Mallorca recorded their first away win at Espanyol in over a decade with a 2-1 comeback win at the Cornella-El Prat thanks to second half goals from Pierre Webo and Emilio Nsue.
Fifth-placed Espanyol had taken an 18th minute lead through Alvaro Vazquez but Cameroon forward Webo headed an equaliser on 62 minutes and Nsue netted the winner eight minutes from time as the islanders won at Espanyol for the first time since 2000.
"After the break our goalkeeper practically didn`t touch the ball and I think it was a deserved win," said Mallorca coach Michael Laudrup.
It was a major setback for Espanyol`s European hopes and Athletic Bilbao, two points behind in sixth, can move above them with a win at Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.
For Mallorca it was only their third away win of the season as they move four points off the top six.
With just seven minutes gone Mallorca won a penalty with centre-back Jordi Amat clipping Webo in the box.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.