Nasri miss costs Sevilla in Villarreal stalemate

MADRID: Samir Nasri missed a second-half penalty as Sevilla squandered the chance to close to within a point of La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 0-0 draw home to Villarreal on Sunday. The Frenchman’s low spot-kick was well saved by Sergio Asenjo, who then made a spectacular stop from Vicente Iborra’s late header as La Liga’s best defence held out for a point at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Sevilla trail Madrid by three points, but the European champions have two games in hand.
Real were due to be in action later on Sunday, but their clash at Celta Vigo was postponed after bad weather damaged Celta’s Balaidos stadium.
Sevilla dominated throughout, but had to wait until the second half to enjoy their best openings.
The hosts were generously awarded a penalty just three minutes after the break when Vitolo went down in the area under pressure from Mario Gaspar.
Nasri confidently stepped up, but the on-loan Manchester City midfielder’s strike lacked the power or accuracy to beat Asenjo, who saved low to his left.
Villarreal then had a huge chance of their own to go in front on the counter-attack as Adrian Lopez rounded Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico, but could only fire into the side-netting with the goal gaping.
The visitors were rescued by the offside flag moments later when Wissam Ben Yedder fired into the roof of the net.
And it was Asenjo who proved the Villarreal hero once more seven minutes from time with a remarkable save to his right to prevent Sevilla captain Iborra’s header from close range flying into the far corner.
“We deserved more,” said Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli. “To miss out on two points is frustrating given the dreams we have.”— AFP