Eibar show pride and belief to overcome numerical disadvantage and claim a point against Europa League holders
The Armeros levelled matters when down to 10 men and held on in the dying stages following a further sending off and with Mendilibar banished to the stands
Eibar picked up a deserved point against Sevilla FC, putting in a performance full of pride and belief in a game which they ended with 9 men and which saw head coach, José Luis Mendilibar sent to the stands.
The Armeros enjoyed the better of the first half and created a series of chances to have taken the lead but they lacked the cutting edge to make the breakthrough.
In stark contrast, Sevilla were far more clinical and the visitors took full advantage of their one clear goalscoring opportunity in the opening half to put themselves into the ascendancy with 27 minutes on the clock. Luciano Vietto latched on to Hirosho Kitoyake's through ball to race clear of the Eibar backline and fire past Yoel to edge the Sevillians ahead.
The Galician goalkeeper, who was deputising for the suspended Asier Riesgo following his sending off at Granada, was himself given his marching orders on 44 minutes after a similar incident to the one which saw Riesgo sent off at Las Cármenes last weekend. Eibar were forced to come to terms with the fact that they would have to play out the second period a man and a goal down.
Joel's sending off meant a La Liga bow for feeder team goalkeeper, Markel Areitio. The youngster, who is a member of a fine goalkeeping dynasty, with his grandfather, Carmelo Cedrún and uncle, Andoni Cedrún both former professionals, was rarely troubled on his debut, but looked assured and composed whenever called upon.
After the restart, the hosts continued to hound the opposition in spite of their numerical disadvantage. Mendilibar's troops pressed high up the field, which served to stifle the Andalusians' goal threat.
In the 64th minute, Eibar's work rate was rewarded, as Rubén Peña nicked in to win a 50-50 ball in midfield and release Antonio Luna, who played in an inviting cross which Pedro León controlled brilliantly before rifling home to claim his third goal in as many games. Eibar had achieved the seemingly impossible by restoring parity and the home faithful took great delight in seeing their side get back on terms.
Having drawn themselves level, the Armeros kept battling away and continued to look to play in the Sevilla half. At the other end, the visitors managed to make inroads into the home side's box, but they rarely threatened Markel's goal.
Sevilla's most gilt-edged chance came on 82 minutes when Vietto met Vitolo's centre, but the striker fired his left-footed effort wide of the upright with the goal at his mercy.
Things got worse for the hosts in the 85th minute when a Dani García tackle saw him receive a straight red card and it was a backs-to-the-wall stuff as Eibar sought to cling on for a point.
The Armeros held out and the final whistle was greeted with euphoria both on the pitch and in the stands, as Eibar claimed a well-deserved point in very difficult circumstances.