|Attempts on target||7||1|
|Attempts off target||5||5|
1 - 1
0 - 3
2 - 5
1 - 2
1 - 0
0 - 0
3 - 1
0 - 1
It is a sure bet it was not simply Luis Fabiano's man-of-the-match performance in Sevilla FC's 2-0 victory over FC Unirea Urziceni on Matchday 1 that prompted visiting coach Dan Petrescu to name the Brazilian "the best striker in the world".
After Fabiano's clinically dispatched strike seconds before half-time in Seville wrecked Unirea's game plan, the forward added a Group G success to Brazil's 3-1 triumph in Argentina and Sevilla's 4-1 weekend thrashing of Real Zaragoza for a yield of three wins and five goals. Fabiano, according to football cliché, is on fire, and his team-mates duly agreed with Petrescu's post-match assessment. Midfielder Didier Zokora, who made his UEFA Champions League debut for the Spanish side on Wednesday, hailed the 28-year-old attacker.
"Fabiano is a very intelligent footballer and certainly one of the best strikers in the world," Zokora told uefa.com. "The breakthrough was top class. Renato made space down the left, looked up, found Luis and he scored a fantastic goal. Before the game the coach told us Unirea played very compact football so we had to press them high up the pitch and above all try to get the first goal which would change everything. Because the Romanians played such a compact style, it made the match harder work until Fabiano scored. That gave us more options."
While these are Zokora's first weeks in Andalusia following his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur FC, he is clear about the side's objective. "It's my first season in Spain, but I know Sevilla are always in Europe and this year we want to go further and maybe get to the semi-finals at least," the 28-year-old said. "I'll work hard towards achieving that goal because I'm enjoying being here and want to please the fans."
Perhaps the best news of all for supporters at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán is the intense competition for striking places. The defeat of Unirea saw Frédéric Kanouté return from suspension as well as Fabiano's moment of mastery, yet it was no less notable that the club's record signing Álvaro Negredo followed up his weekend goal assist with a punchy half-hour cameo from the bench.
"My aim is to take advantage of every minute I'm given and to play the maximum amount of time this season," the 24-year-old former Real Madrid CF man told uefa.com. "It will be difficult because there are top players competing for a place up front, but I'll work hard. Luis Fabiano is on a great run of form and he's got spectacular quality. Getting that first goal was important because we then had even more possession and pretty much controlled the match. For me, debuting in the Champions League is just about the best thing that can happen to a player. This is where the best players in the world test themselves."
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