Sevilla breathed a sigh of relief as they secured just their second away win of the La Liga season with a 2-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio de Vallecas.
Their manager, Quique Sánchez Flores, had voiced concerns about his side’s recent performances, and they nearly started this match badly when Marcão’s slip almost gifted Rayo an early goal. However, the Brazilian defender redeemed himself with a block and some luck seemed to finally be on Sevilla’s side when a deflected pass fell kindly to Youssef En-Nesyri, who converted his first appearance since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Rayo Vallecano, who have struggled at home this season, responded quickly through Marcos Acuña’s own goal. But just before half-time, En-Nesyri struck again, finishing off a long ball from his strike partner Isaac Romero.
The second half was dominated by Rayo, with Sergio Camello and Isi Palazón forcing saves from Sevilla goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland. Pep Chavarría also missed a golden header, before Youssef En-Nesyri himself almost wrapped up the win with a long-range effort that forced a scrambling save from Stole Dimitrievski.
In the end, Sevilla held on for a vital three points that lift them three points clear of the relegation zone and just four behind Rayo Vallecano, who are themselves in need of a turnaround after failing to win in their last five games.
Man of the Match: Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla)