(Reuters) - Levante practically sealed their La Liga status by beating visiting Sevilla 2-1 with a late Jose Luis Morales goal on Friday, piling more misery on the crisis-hit Andalusians.
Forward Roger Marti put Levante ahead from close range in the 11th minute but Sevilla youngster Carlos Fernandez levelled in the 16th with a brilliant turn and thumping shot.
Levante have moved steadily away from the relegation zone since Paco Lopez succeeded the sacked Juan Muniz at the start of March and took another step towards sealing their top-flight status when Morales restored their lead in the 74th minute.
He latched onto a through ball from Jose Campana and knocked it through goalkeeper David Soria’s legs to put Levante on the way to their sixth victory in eight games under the new coach, which takes them within a point of clinching survival.
The win takes Levante above Espanyol to 16th, 12 points clear of third-bottom Deportivo La Coruna, who have four games left and play at home to champions-elect Barcelona on Sunday.
Sevilla sacked sporting director Oscar Arias on Tuesday when coach Vincenzo Montella clung on to his job, but the Italian’s position looks ever more precarious after suffering an eighth defeat in 17 league games.
Sevilla are seventh on 48 points and face a battle to stay there and qualify for the Europa League ahead of eighth-placed Getafe who also have 48 and ninth-placed Girona are on 47.
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris