Malaga 4 Sevilla 2: Vazquez brace in vain for Sampaoli's men

Atletico Madrid remain three points above Sevilla in third, after the latter were beaten in an entertaining contest at La Rosaleda.

Sevilla's hopes of qualifying automatically for the Champions League group stages were dented on Monday as they suffered a 4-2 LaLiga defeat at in-form Malaga.

Franco Vazquez scored in each half for Jorge Sampaoli's side, but those strikes came either side of Pablo Fornals and Sandro finding the target. Diego Llorente's 77th-minute header then put Malaga in front for a second time before substitute Juankar rounded off the scoring late on, converting a rebound from Sandro's saved penalty.

As a result, Sevilla remain three points behind third-placed Atletico Madrid, who boast a superior head-to-head record. However, Sevilla do have a five-point cushion over Villarreal and remain on course to earn a place in the Champions League play-off round.

Vazquez opened the scoring after half an hour, exchanging passes with Wissam Ben Yedder at the end of a swift counter-attack before firing past Carlos Kameni with the aid of a deflection.

Yet Fornals found the top-right corner from 20 yards to pull Malaga level in the 38th minute and the visitors fell behind when Dani Parejo connected with thin air attempting a clearance and Sandro's low shot went through Sergio Rico.

A missed interception from Luis Munoz gave Vazquez the chance to make it 2-2 from close range, with 33 minutes still remaining.

It was Malaga who had the final say, though, Llorente heading home a free-kick before Juankar reacted quickly to ensure Sandro's poor penalty could not prove costly.