Sevilla missed a chance to reel in Real Madrid to within two points when they played their game in hand against Valencia on Wednesday. The Andalusian side only managed a 1-1 draw against the hosts at Mestalla Stadium, allowing Los Blancos to extend their lead to four points.

At this point, the 2021/22 La Liga title is for Real Madrid to lose. Sevilla still have a good chance, with a little less than half the season remaining. The four-point gap is not a lot, and Real Madrid will have to stay focused. However, the next closest contender is Real Betis in third place a further 12 points adrift.

Second-placed Sevilla would be kicking themselves after missing the opportunity to close the gap to two points, but their performance against Valencia was simply not good enough.

The visitors took the early lead in the 7th minute, thanks to an own goal from Mouctar Diakhaby. The hosts then managed to equalise just before the half-time break via Goncalo Guedes. While Sevilla held much of the possession throughout the match, the shots made were fairly even.

Despite the disappointment, Sevilla still have a fair shot at the title. A single slip from the leaders can bring them within a point, but only as long as they keep winning their own matches.

A lot can still happen in the next few months, especially after seeing how Atletico Madrid almost lost the title last season despite enjoying a comfortable double-digit lead going into the Christmas break. Incidentally, Real Madrid's title bid was thwarted last year when they were held to a draw by Sevilla in one of the last matches at the tail end of the season.

Real Madrid are hungry for silverware after enduring a title drought last season. After winning the Supercopa de Espana last week, manager Carlo Ancelotti declared his intention to fight for the rest of the titles available. Sevilla need to step up their game if they want to take the fight to the finish line.

Zinedine Zidane, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid and Sevilla had a dramatic battle at the end of last season. AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU