Malaga 0 Sevilla 0
Sevilla had new signing Steven N’Zonzi sent off as they were held to a goalless draw by Malaga in the first game of the 2015/16 La Liga season.
N’Zonzi, a summer arrival from Stoke, picked up his second yellow of the match in the 69th minute to leave Sevilla having to cling on in the closing stages at La Rosaleda.
Sevilla fans could have been forgiven for expecting a goal-fest from Friday’s La Liga opener after seeing their side’s previous two matches produce a total of 19 goals – a 5-4 defeat to Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup and a 6-4 friendly loss to Roma.
That was not to be the case, though, with both sides having goals disallowed and a mixture of indifferent finishing and good goalkeeping ensuring all other opportunities ended up drawing blanks as well.
Things started brightly enough for two-time Europa League champions Sevilla with Kevin Gameiro and Jose Antonio Reyes having chances before centre-back Adil Rami saw his 65th-minute strike chalked out for offside.
Javi Gracia’s side pushed hard for the win after that, with Nordin Amrabat denied by Sevilla goalkeeper Beto and Roberto Rosales firing over.
Charles then had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside in the 87th minute before the same player had a great chance to snatch all three points in stoppage time.
He could not take advantage, though, to leave both sides with a point apiece from their opening match.
Both teams now face daunting fixtures next weekend, with Malaga going to reigning Spanish and European champions Barcelona while Sevilla host Atletico Madrid.