Soccer-Sevilla frustrated again after being held at home by Celta


(Reuters) - Second-placed Sevilla fought back from two goals down but failed to close the gap on LaLiga leaders Real Madrid as they were held 2-2 at home by Celta Vigo on Saturday, their second consecutive draw.

Sevilla moved on to 46 points from 22 games, three points behind Real Madrid and six ahead of Real Betis in third. The leaders have a game in hand and will host Elche on Sunday.

Celta burst into the lead shortly before halftime, scoring twice after two defensive mistakes in the space of three minutes, first through Franco Cervi and then Iago Aspas.

Sevilla fought back after the break and drew level midway into the second half, also with two goals in three minutes, with strikes from Papu Gomez and Oliver Torres.

Sevilla winger Jesus Corona, making his first start for the side after arriving from Porto this month, was the best player for the hosts, who had six opportunities to open the scoring in the first half but were wasteful with their final ball.

They were then punished by Celta who seized upon two opportunities before the break.

First Cervi reacted quickly to fire in a rebound from an effort by Aspas. Then, following the restart and another sloppy Sevilla pass, 34-year-old Aspas sprinted into the area and struck the ball into the bottom left corner beyond goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.

Sevilla reduced the deficit in the 70th minute with Gomez clearing two defenders before lashing a powerful strike from the edge of the box into the upper left corner.

Gomez then created the equalizer, leading a counter attack down the left and crossing into the area where Torres volleyed a low shot into the bottom right corner to save at least one point for Julen Lopetegui's side.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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