Sevilla beats Osasuna, moves above Barcelona in La Liga standings

Sevilla's win over Osasuna allowed the side to move above Barcelona into third place in the La Liga standings, four points behind second-placed Real Madrid, with a game in hand.

Sevilla took advantage of Atletico Madrid's 2-0 defeat by Levante on Saturday to close the gap with the leader to seven points with 15 games left, adding more intrigue to a title race which looked like a forgone conclusion less than a month ago.   -  Getty Images

Sevilla's Diego Carlos and Luuk de Jong got on the scoresheet to secure a fifth La Liga win in a row as their side enjoyed a 2-0 victory at Osasuna on Monday to move above Barcelona into third place and join the title race.

Osasuna defender Oier Sanrujo almost got the host off to a perfect start when he sent a header crashing against the post in the opening minutes but it was Sevilla's Brazilian defender Diego Carlos who broke the deadlock.

The Spaniard outjumped two Osasuna players to meet an out-swinging corner from Joan Jordan and his header had too much power for goalkeeper Sergio Herrera to keep out.

READ: La Liga: Casemiro header snatches win for Real Madrid, closes gap on Atletico

De Jong put the visitors further ahead early in the second half with a backheel to guide a low cross from Munir El Haddadi into the net, while substitute Papu Gomez nearly added a third late on but was denied by Herrera.

It was a welcome victory for Sevilla after its 3-2 home defeat by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16, first leg last week and saw the side move to 48 points, one point ahead of Barca which drew 1-1 at home to Cadiz on Sunday.

 

Sevilla took advantage of Atletico Madrid's 2-0 defeat by Levante on Saturday to close the gap with the leader to seven points with 15 games left, adding more intrigue to a title race which looked like a forgone conclusion less than a month ago.

Sevilla is also four points behind second-placed Real Madrid, with a game in hand.

"We played well in every aspect, we were solid defensively against a team that plays with a lot of intensity and pace while not altering our usual attacking style," said Lopetegui.

READ: Barcelona draws with Cadiz in Messi's record 506th league game

"Apart from their early clear chance, we were superior to them throughout the game."

Sevilla now turns its attentions to a double header with Barcelona, hosting the Catalans in La Liga next Saturday with a chance to go four points above them.

The side then heads to the Camp Nou for a Copa del Rey semifinal second leg on Wednesday, holding a commanding 2-0 lead.

Lopetegui was not interested in discussing his side's title credentials but said fans should feel free to entertain the prospect of a tilt.

"We have a limited amount of energy and we have to dedicate it all to thinking about our next game. Today was very tough and now we have to think about facing Barcelona. But it's not my place to tell people how they should feel about that."