Sevilla beat Elche 2-0 to be 3 points behind Real Madrid

Papu Gómez and Rafa Mir scored to help Sevilla beat Elche 2-0 and stay in touch with Spanish league leaders Real Madrid on Friday.

Gómez broke through in the 70th minute when the Argentine midfielder slalomed past three defenders and his shot deflected off an Elche player.

Anthony Martial, who made his home debut from loan from Manchester United, crossed for substitute Mir to head the second goal six minutes later to secure victory at the Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

Julen Lopetegui’s side have come within three points of Madrid.

Madrid travel to sixth-placed Villarreal on Saturday without injured striker Karim Benzema, the league’s top scorer with 17. Three days later he will travel to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16 .

Emerging as Madrid’s top challenger after struggles from defending champions Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, ​​Sevilla have added Martial and Jesús Corona to their attack in the winter transfer market. Sevilla saw the chance to add to their only league title in 1946.

But the Andalusian side recently spat and were on a run of three straight league draws that had threatened to let Madrid run away in the title hunt which is already effectively down to just two teams.

Sevilla were eyeing another disappointment against an Elche side who had drawn 2-2 at Madrid two rounds earlier. The best Sevilla could muster in attack was two shots from Ivan Rakitic which Badía saved.

It was then that Gómez broke the deadlock with his excellent solo effort.

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