MADRID, Spain, Dec 21 – Sevilla missed the chance to leapfrog Real Madrid into La Liga’s top four as Carlos Vela waved goodbye to Real Sociedad with a goal in a 3-1 win for the Basques on Wednesday.
Vela will join new Major League Soccer club Los Angeles FC in January after 250 appearances for Sociedad.
The Mexican was given a standing ovation at Anoeta when he was introduced as a late substitute and the crowd got the ending they craved as Vela slotted home his 73rd goal for the club in stoppage time to seal Sociedad’s first win in seven games.
Sociedad deservedly went in front when Inigo Martinez headed home Asier Illarramendi’s cross on 17 minutes.
However, Wissam Ben Yedder brought Sevilla level just before half-time as his shot sneaked under Geronimo Rulli for the Frenchman’s 14th goal of the season.
Sevilla were then having the better of the second period until substitute Igor Zubeldia saw a shot with his first touch deflect off Sergio Escudero to leave David Soria in the Sevilla goal helpless.
And Vela rounded off the scoring with a clinical near-post finish to inflict Sevilla’s sixth defeat in their last seven away games in La Liga.
Eduardo Berizzo’s men remain fifth but could slip five points off the Champions League places with the top four in action on Friday and Saturday ahead of a two-week winter break.
Earlier, Getafe moved up to seventh as early goals from Juan Cala and Amath Ndiaye secured a 2-0 win over Las Palmas, who remain rooted to the foot of the table.