Sevilla FC's Álvaro Negredo may have realised a burning desire, but the Spain striker conceded that the joy of a first UEFA Champions League goal was tempered by Mark González's blockbuster reply in the 1-1 draw at PFC CSKA Moskva.
"I badly wanted that goal," said Negredo, given his chance to shine on the European stage by injuries to Luis Fabiano and Frédéric Kanouté. In the event the 24-year-old did not have to do much, tapping in Jesús Navas's low cross from all of a metre on 25 minutes. His celebrations were fulsome, only for González to spoil the party. "I am not satisfied with a draw – this is neither bad nor good," said the former Real Madrid CF man. "We wanted to win, we scored and kept attacking. We seemed in control, but were ultimately made to pay for a moment of slackness."
Only the harshest critic would apportion blame for González's unstoppable 30-metre shot. Negredo, a player capable of such high standards, duly saluted an opponent who once shone on the other side of Seville, at Real Betis Balompié. "Mark showed his class, scoring a terrific goal that was very important. Spanish spectators used to enjoy his football, now he makes the Russian fans happy," he said. "CSKA are a very strong, aggressive team that play a pressing game and are always ready to punish your mistakes.
"The goal we conceded has made our task a bit harder, but we have still taken a step towards the quarter-finals," the Sevilla No19 added. "Nothing terrible happened. We are already looking forward to the [second leg] at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, which our devoted fans have helped make a real fortress." Manuel Jiménez's men picked up seven points at home in three group-stage outings, though Sevilla need no reminding about CSKA's success on their travels. The Moscow side beat Beşiktaş JK and came within a minute of doing the same to Manchester United FC. "Nothing is decided yet," said Negredo. "We know CSKA are very dangerous away from home so we will prepare for it."
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