Sevilla beats Girona to pull level with Barcelona, Atletico

(AP Photo/Jose Miguel Fernandez de Velasco)

By JOSEPH WILSON

Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Sevilla pulled level on points with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid atop the Spanish league after beating Girona 2-0 at home on Sunday.

Barcelona leads the other two front runners on goal difference before it visits Levante later.

Second-place Sevilla has won six home matches in a row in la Liga. It has also won its Europa League group and is set to face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey's round-of-16 next month.

In a match that pitted Sevilla coach Pablo Machin against the team he coached last season, Ever Banega and Pablo Sarabia broke down Girona's defense with a pair of second-half goals.

Banega converted a penalty kick in the 56th minute after Andre Silva cut back in the area and was tripped by Juan Ramirez.

Sarabia led a clever move to get the second goal in the 64th. After Roque Mesa recovered possession, Sarabia played Wissam Ben Yedder wide before following him into the area where he received the ball back from Ben Yedder and fired it home.

Girona goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz had turned back shots by Sarabia and Mesa in the first half. The visitors' best scoring chance came just before halftime when Cristian Stuani's pointblank shot was saved by goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated December 16, 2018

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