En-Nesyri nets hat trick as Sevilla rises to 3rd in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Youssef En-Nesyri scored a hat trick to lead Sevilla to a 3-0 win over Cadiz, lifting the Andalusian side into third place in the Spanish league on Saturday.

En-Nesyri has 12 goals in 19 rounds and leads the league scoring charts. The Morocco striker also scored a treble in a 3-2 win over Real Sociedad two weeks ago. He has four goals this season in the Champions League, where Sevilla plays Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 next month.

En-Nesyri opened the scoring in the 35th minute after Jesus »Suso» Fernandez’s shot hit the post and fell for him to finish off. His second and third goals were from headers in the 39th and 62nd.

On his second goal, En-Nesyri said that he could only see from one eye after taking a knock in the other one. But that did not stop him from meeting Suso’s free kick sent near the penalty spot for the striker to head through the crowded area and into the net.

»I knew the set piece was for me and I had to execute it, so I scored the goal with one eye open,» En-Nesyri said.

After its sixth win in nine rounds, Sevilla moved two points ahead of Barcelona, which visits Elche on Sunday.

JOAQUIN’S COMEBACK

At age 39, Joaquin Sanchez proved he can still turn games around for Real Betis. He came on in the 78th and set up one goal before scoring a stoppage-time equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Sociedad.

Coach Imanol Alguacil slung his coat into the dugout after seeing his team squander a two-goal lead and an overall dominant performance because of Betis’ inspired final push led Joaquin.

Sociedad striker Aleksander Isak rifled a shot under goalkeeper Joel Robles shortly after halftime to put the hosts ahead. Isak next set up Mikel Oyarzabal to chip a second goal over Robles in the 57th.

But Joaquin curled in a cross for Sergio Canales to head home in the 85th. The veteran forward clinched the draw two minutes into injury time when fellow substitute Cristian Tello sped past his marker and found Joaquin in the area. He redirected the pass toward the goal and the shot took a deflection off a defender to leave ‘keeper Alex Remiro stranded.

»That is what Joaquin does, he changes everything. He and Tello and the others that came off the bench gave us life,» said Canales, who got his seventh league goal of the season.

Sociedad will have a chance to avenge the loss on Tuesday when it visits Betis in their round-of-16 clash in the Copa del Rey.

OTHER GAMES

Fifth-place Villarreal pulled level with Barcelona on points after a 0-0 draw with last-place Huesca. Barcelona is ahead of Villareal on goal difference.

Second-place Real Madrid visits Alaves later Saturday without coach Zinedine Zidane, who is isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus.

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