SEVILLE, Spain – Sevilla, still smarting from last weekend’s rout at the hands of Real Madrid, managed only a 0-0 draw on Friday against 15th-place Levante at the start of the 16th round of the 2017-2018 La Liga season.
With coach Eduardo Berizzo back on the touch line after missing four matches to undergo cancer treatment, the hosts started the contest eager to erase the memories of the 5-0 loss at the Bernabeu.
Sevilla, who remain on the verge of their 1,000th victory in the top-flight of Spanish football, should have been able to handle a Levante side that have won only once in their last 10 matches.
But Levante have a respectable away record and they generated the first scoring chance of the night, a strike after the 15-minute mark by Enes Ünal that forced Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico to come up with a miraculous stop.
The close call seemed to deflate the home side and their fans on a cold, rainy night at Seville’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Sevilla regrouped and became more ambitious, but playmakers Ever Banega and Paulo Henrique Ganso struggled to organize the attack and the visitors threatened again in the form of direct free kick by Sergio Postigo that hit the post.
The hosts had a chance to take the lead in the final minute of first-half regulation, only for Gabriel Mercado’s header to likewise bounce off the post.
The second half brought additional opportunities for Sevilla, yet a lack of precision and control prevented the squad from converting those chances into goals.
Sevilla, with 29 points from 16 matches, remain in fifth place, just two points behind Real Madrid.
The draw boosted Levante to 17 points, five above the relegation zone.