Dec 23 (Reuters) - A stoppage-time strike from Wissam Ben Yedder saw 10-man Sevilla avoid an embarrassing defeat to lowly Leganes on Sunday as they snatched a 1-1 draw instead but still lost ground in their chase of La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Former Athletic Bilbao midfielder Mikel Vesga headed 16th-placed Leganes in front on a cold Madrid afternoon where conditions worsened as the game progressed due to thick fog which hampered visibility on the pitch.
Sevilla’s chances of getting back in the game were hit when midfielder Franco Vazquez was given a straight red card at halftime for dissent following a dispute in the tunnel, just after Gabriel Mercado had been booked.
Sevilla’s Ibrahim Amadou hit the post late in the game while striker Youssef En-Nesyri hammered the crossbar for Leganes, who despite their struggles this season have proved a handful for the league’s best sides at their Butarque stadium, beating Barcelona in September and holding Atletico Madrid to a draw.
They were denied a famous victory when Roque Mesa delivered a deep cross to pick out French forward Ben Yedder who headed home unmarked from close range, and the hosts’ frustrations deepened when they had a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) appeal for a penalty turned down.
The draw saw Sevilla drop from second place to third on 32 points, five from leaders Barca and two from Atletico, who beat Celta Vigo and Espanyol respectively on Saturday.
Sevilla are three points above European champions Real Madrid, who have a league game in hand due to being in the Club World Cup final on Saturday, when they were crowned world champions for a record fourth time after beating Al Ain 4-1. (Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Clare Fallon)