Sampaoli’s Sevilla see off Eibar, Alaves down Depor

Sevilla kept their title challenge alive with a 2-0 win over European hopefuls Eibar at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday night.

Pablo Sarabia's 30th-minute opener appeared to have done the job for the hosts, although Vitolo made certain of the three points with a second goal at the death.

The visitors threatened to take the lead early on, however, when Florian Lejeune got on the end of Pedro Leon's cross, but Sergio Rico kept out his fifth-minute header.

But after Vazquez and Stevan Jovetic failed to take their chances in the opening stages, Jorge Sampaoli's side went on to break the deadlock on the half-hour mark with a well-worked goal.

Jovetic latched onto a long ball from the back and linked up smartly with Wissam Ben Yedder on the left before crossing for Sarabia to volley into the left corner of the net from eight yards out.

Ruben Pena looked to respond for the visitors with a shot from inside the box that was saved by Rico on 37 minutes, while Jovetic forced a stop out of Yoel from close range moments later at the other end before the Eibar keeper denied Sergio Escudero from range on the stroke of half-time.

Rico was called into action just five minutes into the second half to keep out Sergi Enrich's header from Leon's cross, although he was not troubled again in the match.

Steven N'Zonzi failed to beat Yoel from inside the area on 76 minutes after being played in on goal by Vitolo, who showed more composure in stoppage time when he fired home from 10 yards out, having been teed up by Jovetic's square pass.

Meanwhile, Alaves returned to winning ways in La Liga as they secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor.

Depor were guilty of failing to take their numerous chances in the match as they succumbed to Manu Garcia's 68th-minute penalty in the end.

The hosts went closest to opening the scoring in the first half when Gael Kakuta struck the crossbar with his shot from inside the area on 19 minutes, with both keepers being called into action just once each.

German Lux was required to keep out Victor Laguardia's header for Los Armeros in the 14th minute, while Juanfran tested Fernando Pacheco with a headed effort five minutes later.

After some wayward finishing at either end, Lux denied Ibai Gomez from range early in the second half before Pacheco did the same from Florin Andone's long-range shot on 55 minutes.

The Basque outfit were present with a golden opportunity to go in front on 68 minutes when Raul Albentosa brought down Manu Garcia inside the area, and the midfielder picked himself up to slot home the resulting penalty.

Guilherme dos Santos tried his luck from distance for Depor with eight minutes left, but Lux was equal to the task, while Garcia was denied a second on 86 minutes as Pacheco pulled off a fine save to turn away his header.