Luciano Vietto scored twice in a stunning first-half display as Sevilla beat Malaga 4-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday.
Four goals in the space of 10 minutes put Jorge Sampaoli’s side in control as they claimed three points to move ahead of Barcelona into second in LaLiga, having played a game more.
Adil Rami was sent off in the second half and Sandro Ramirez pulled a goal back for the visitors, but Sevilla held firm to secure a seventh win at home in eight top-flight matches this season.
Vietto opened the scoring after 25 minutes, firing in from close range following Steven N’Zonzi’s pass, and the striker added a second three minutes later after Vitolo’s shot rebounded into his path.
Wissam Ben Yedder made it 3-0 on 34 minutes, converting Gabriel Mercado’s cut-back with a clever side-footed finish from 12 yards.
Vitolo then added a fourth within 60 seconds, after a fine move involving Samir Nasri and Vietto.
Rami handed Malaga a lifeline just past the hour mark, the centre-back earning two yellow cards in quick succession after arguing pointedly with referee Carlos Clos Gomez following a poor challenge on Juankar.
Sandro smashed in the resulting free-kick from 25 yards, but although Malaga pushed forward in the final half-hour, there was to be no dramatic comeback.
The win sees Sevilla leapfrog Barca ahead of the champions’ derby with Espanyol on Sunday, while Malaga are 11th.
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