Sevilla miss chance to catch Real with draw against Bilbao


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Sevilla v Atletico Madrid - Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain - November 2, 2019 Sevilla's Ever Banega looks dejected REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

(Reuters) - Sevilla squandered the chance to go level on points with second-placed Real Madrid in La Liga as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao on Friday in their first game back after a two-week winter break.

The Basque side went ahead in the 15th minute after a bright start when Ander Capa pounced on a loose ball inside the area and slid it under Sevilla keeper Tomas Vaclik into the bottom corner.

Sevilla dominated the remainder of the first half and twice came close to levelling, with Ever Banega hitting the bar straight from a corner and Munir El Haddadi having a shot scrambled off the line by Yeray Alvarez.

Dutch striker Luuk de Jong then missed a gilt-edged chance to score but his side drew level a minute later with an own goal from Athletic defender Unai Nunez, who attempted to block a cross from Lucas Ocampos and diverted it into his own net.

Sevilla remain third in the standings on 35 points after 19 games, two behind Real Madrid who visit Getafe on Saturday and four behind leaders Barcelona who play at Espanyol.

Athletic are seventh on 29 points.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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