Seville (Spain) (AFP) – Sevilla overcame a red card, missed penalty and 2-0 deficit against Villarreal on Saturday to seal a valuable point in the race for Europa League qualification.
Wissam Ben Yedder was booked twice, each time for dissent, eight minutes after coming on as a second-haf substitute, with Sevilla already trailing to Dani Raba’s strike nine minutes before the interval.
When Carlos Bacca then put Villarreal two up at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, 10-man Sevilla looked dead and buried, particularly when Nolito missed a penalty with 15 minutes left.
Villarreal’s Jaume Costa, however, had been sent off for his protests against the spot-kick and, with both teams a man down, Sevilla added a dramatic finish to a pulsating contest.
Nolito made amends for his earlier error by converting from close range and, in the 82nd minute, Steven Nzonzi grabbed a brilliant equaliser, his stunning long-range shot bending inside the bottom corner for 2-2.
The draw means Sevilla stay a point behind sixth-placed Villarreal in La Liga and five adrift of Real Betis in fifth.
Despite his late strike, however, Nzonzi told beIN Sports: “We had to win, we didn’t win so we are not happy.
“We have good feelings, we didn’t play badly, but the feelings don’t matter if we don’t win.
“There are still many games left, and we will continue to try to finish in the top five or six places.”