Lopetegui under increasing pressure after Sevilla held again

MADRID (AP) — Sevilla’s struggles continued with a 1-1 draw at Villarreal in the Spanish league on Sunday, leaving the club near the relegation zone and increasing the pressure on coach Julen Lopetegui.

It was Sevilla’s seventh game without a win in eight matches this season in all competitions. It sat only one point from the relegation zone after six league matches.

Lopetegui, the former Spain and Real Madrid coach, has been under fire because of the team’s poor start and many fans have called for a change in command. Sevilla entered the season amid high expectations after a fourth-place finish in 2021-22, when it often stayed near the top.

“I’m not going to talk about the future, that’s very complicated,” Lopetegui said. “I can only talk about the present. there is still a lot to be played for and we will try to get better and compete.”

Sevilla’s only win this season was at Espanyol in the league last weekend. It had four losses in its other six matches, including a 4-0 rout against Manchester City at home in the group stage of the Champions League and a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish league, also at home.

Sevilla took the lead on Sunday with a goal by Óliver Torres in the eighth minute after an assist by Isco Alarcón, but Álex Baena equalized for the hosts in the 51st.

Unai Emery’s Villarreal is closer to the top in the standings and was looking for its fourth win in six league matches. It has 11 points, six more than Sevilla.

Villarreal is playing its home matches at Levante’s stadium in the nearby city of Valencia because of renovation work at its La Cerámica stadium.


Getafe won 2-0 at 10-man Osasuna for its second consecutive win after a poor start to the season.

The hosts played with 10 men from the 43rd minute after Chimy Ávila was sent off with a straight red card for a hard foul.

Juan Iglesias put Getafe ahead in the 30th and Gastón Álvarez added to the lead in the 76th.

Getafe had opened with three losses and a draw and had been in the relegation zone. Osasuna was one of the hottest clubs at the start of the season, with four wins from its first five league matches.

Defending champion Real Madrid visits city rival Atlético Madrid later Sunday to try to regain the lead from Barcelona, which defeated Elche 3-0 at home on Saturday for its fifth straight league victory.


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