Mir on target as Sevilla go third after win over Celta
October 17 2021 11:22 PM
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Rafa Mir
Rafa Mir

AFP/Madrid

Sevilla edged up to third in La Liga yesterday after a second-half goal from Rafa Mir was enough to give them a battling 1-0 win away at struggling Celta Vigo. 
After being beaten by Granada before the international break, Sevilla got back to winning ways with the kind of resilient, determined performance they delivered so often last season.
They edge ahead of Atletico Madrid on goal difference, three points behind early leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand. Celta sit 16th, with seven points from their first nine matches. Mir was linked with Atletico in the summer but the Spanish forward joined Sevilla instead on a six-year-deal and now has three goals in his last four league games.
Sevilla went close in the title race last season but struggled for goals and if Mir can sustain this form, they should push Atletico, Real Madrid and Barcelona again. Julen Lopetegui’s side now turn their attention to Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday as they hope to build on two opening draws that have left them second in Group G.
Mir’s decisive strike came in the 54th minute and owed something to fortune as Suso cut in from the right and unleashed an effort from distance, which was blocked but deflected kindly into Mir’s path. He slid the ball into the corner and while Celta hoped for offside, Mir was shown to have been level and the winner stood.
On Saturday, Sociedad moved ahead of Real Madrid to the top of La Liga after scoring a dramatic last-minute winner to beat Real Mallorca, despite playing half the game with 10 men. Julen Lobete fired inside the near post in the 90th minute to snatch a 1-0 victory and spark pandemonium at the Reale Arena, where the fans and players celebrated like they had won a trophy.
In jubilant scenes after the final whistle, the players paraded the 2020 Copa del Rey trophy — won earlier this year in the postponed final against Basque rivals Athletic Club — in front of their own fans for the first time.
And while Real Madrid face Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season next Sunday, Real Sociedad’s game away at reigning champions Atletico Madrid now has more riding on it at the top of the table. Atletico are also three points behind La Real. With Real Madrid and Atletico both sitting out the weekend’s matches due to the extended South American international break, Real Sociedad knew they could take first place by avoiding defeat against promoted Mallorca.



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