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Pressure increases on Sevilla boss Marcelino

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By David Redshaw

Sunday 15 January 2012

The pressure on Sevilla boss Marcelino has increased after the Andalusians stretched their winless run to four games with a 0-0 draw against Espanyol at the Sánchez Pizjuán.

Although the hosts dominated much of the game, with Espanyol prepared to play on the counter-attack, they were unable to break down a resolute Catalan defence as Freddie Kanouté, José Antonio Reyes and Jesús Navas all spurned gilt-edged opportunities to take all three points. Although the draw pushed Sevilla back into sixth spot pending Sunday’s fixtures they are still five points adrift of the Champions League places, with their next two games involving ‘derbi’ matches with Real Betis and Málaga, and Marcelino could face demands for his head if unsuccessful against their local rivals.

“We were infinitely superior but it did not happen for us,” lamented Marcelino afterwards. “But that’s football, as we saw in the second half of the game in Vallecas when the ball would not go in. I still feel we should have won comfortably but to win you need to score goals and we are not doing that. To generate 14 chances we had to play well, but the pity is that we could not put the ball in the net.

“Against Betis next Saturday we must try to match what we did today because it would be very difficult to make another 14 goalscoring opportunities and not take any,” he added.

Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino was unsurprisingly delighted with a point that saw his team remain level on 25 points with Sevilla and still within touching distance of a European place.

“It was a very valuable point against a high-quality team,” beamed the Argentine. “My players were fantastic and showed a lot of commitment. Sevilla on their home ground create a lot of chances and you need to be almost perfect not to concede a goal, but we succeeded. That says a lot because their attack now they have Reyes in it is even more frightening.”

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