Sevilla missed a chance to close the gap at the top of La Liga, while Real Madrid's on-loan Norwegian rising star turned in a masterpiece of a performance.

By Associated Press
September 26, 2019

MADRID (AP) – Sevilla squandered a two-goal first-half lead to lose 3-2 at Eibar on Thursday, missing a chance to move near the top of the Spanish league.

Sevilla was up 2-0 until the 66th minute, when Eibar scored with a penalty converted by Fabian Orellana. Pedro Leon equalized in the 77th after a blunder by Sevilla defenders and Jose Angel Valdes ''Cote'' gave the hosts the win with a well-placed free kick in the 82nd.

''We fell back in the second half,'' Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said. ''We were more concerned about defending than attacking. We paid the price in the end.''

It was the first win of the season for Eibar, which had entered the match second-to-last in the 20-team standings with two points from five games.

Sevilla was coming off a 1-0 home loss to Real Madrid. It could have moved within a point from Madrid's lead, but ended up dropping to seventh place.

''It's a concern,'' Lopetegui said. ''We lost a game that was in our hands. We let it slip away.''

Lucas Ocampos and Oliver Torres scored Sevilla's goals in the first half.

Leon's equalizer came after Sevilla defender Diego Carlos and goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik collided when going for a ball inside the area, leaving the Eibar midfielder free to score.

REAL SOCIEDAD DOMINATES

Led by Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard, Real Sociedad comfortably defeated Alaves 3-0 at home for its third win in a row, moving it to second place.

Mikel Oyarzabal scored a pair of goals and Willian Jose added another for Real Sociedad, which moved one point behind leader Real Madrid.

Alaves, which has lost three in a row and is winless since the league opener, stayed with five points, just outside the relegation zone. Odegaard had one assist and created nine chances for Sociedad.

CELTA RALLIES

Celta Vigo salvaged a 1-1 home draw against Espanyol with a header by Santi Mina in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time.

The result left Espanyol in the relegation zone with five points from six matches. Celta, winless in four league games, moved to 15th place with six points.

Real Madrid took the league lead by beating promoted Osasuna 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. Atletico Madrid won 2-0 at Mallorca, while two-time defending champion Barcelona defeated Villarreal 2-1 at Camp Nou Stadium on Tuesday.

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