Barcelona: Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo took charge of his first game since having surgery to treat prostate cancer and received a rapturous reception from the Sanchez Pizjuan crowd before his side’s 0-0 home draw with Levante on Friday.
Chants of the Argentine coach’s name reverberated around the stadium before the game, which despite the scoreline was not lacking for chances. Both sides struck the post in the first half while Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico and opposite number Oier Olazabal were kept busy throughout.
Sevilla, who will face Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League, are fifth in La Liga with 29 points from 15 games, 10 adrift of leaders Barcelona, while Levante are 15th on 17.
News of Berizzo’s diagnosis came the morning after Sevilla’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool in the Champions League group stage on November 21. He underwent surgery seven days later.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported that Berizzo is unlikely to be present for the match at Real Sociedad next Wednesday as he has been advised against travelling by plane so soon after the operation.
Berizzo’s assistant Ernesto Marcucci is expected to take charge for that game, as he has for the team’s previous four games while the head coach was recovering from the operation.
Reigning French champions Monaco eased past struggling Saint-Etienne 4-0 to stay on PSG’s tail with the highly coveted Fabinho and Thomas Lemar among the scorers.
Djibril Sidibe curled in the opener after Keita Balde shot was blocked and Thomas Lemar — the target of a bid by Arsenal in the summer — scored on 32 minutes after weaving through the St Etienne defence.
Fabinho, who told the club this week he wants to leave, tapped in the third in the second half before Keita put the icing on the cake with a piercing shot on 60 minutes at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, where there were row after row of empty seats.
(Played on Friday)
Sevilla 0 Levante 0
French Ligue 1
Saint-Etienne 0 Monaco 4