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Sevilla earn narrow lead against Leicester

Published: Wednesday 22 February 2017, 22.46CET
Goals from Pablo Sarabia and Joaquín Correa, who had earlier missed a penalty, gave Sevilla victory against Leicester, whose hopes were revived by Jamie Vardy's late reply.
Sevilla earn narrow lead against Leicester
Pablo Sarabia (left) after heading Sevilla in front ©AFP/Getty Images

Match statistics

SevillaLeicester

Goals scored2
 
1
Possession (%)68
 
32
Total attempts22
 
8
on target8
 
3
off target10
 
2
blocked4
 
3
against woodwork2
 
0
Corners8
 
1
Offsides0
 
0
Yellow cards2
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed6
 
9
Fouls suffered9
 
5
Passes663
 
239
completed594
 
175

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 22 February 2017, 22.46CET

Sevilla earn narrow lead against Leicester

Goals from Pablo Sarabia and Joaquín Correa, who had earlier missed a penalty, gave Sevilla victory against Leicester, whose hopes were revived by Jamie Vardy's late reply.

A late Jamie Vardy goal revived Leicester hopes against Sevilla after Pablo Sarabia and Joaquín Correa – who also had an early penalty saved – had seemingly put the Spanish hosts in control of their round of 16 tie against the English champions.

Targeting a first European Cup quarter-final since 1957/58, Sevilla were quick to seize the initiative and could have gone in front in the 14th minute. Wes Morgan felled Correa, making his first UEFA Champions League start, with a lunging challenge after Robert Huth had failed to clear – but Kasper Schmeichel dived to his right to keep out the spot kick.

Undeterred, Sevilla continued to press with the visiting goalkeeper down smartly to save from Julien Escudero shortly afterwards, yet Schmeichel was powerless in the 25th minute. Escudero whipped a left-wing cross to the far post and Sarabia, lurking just behind Christian Fuchs, powered a header back into the opposing corner.

Schmeichel denied Stevan Jovetić and Correa as Sevilla kept coming, and there was no respite for Leicester after the break. Samir Nasri played in Vitolo for a shot that clipped the post and rolled across the goalmouth with no home player there to apply the finishing touch.

Schmeichel: Away goal is vital

The long-threatened second goal finally arrived just past the hour, Jovetić controlling a long ball on his chest and drawing in both Morgan and Danny Simpson before finding the onrushing Correa, who beat Schmeichel this time via the underside of the crossbar.

Sevilla had been dominant, but 17 minutes from time they were caught out. Danny Drinkwater found space down the left and picked out Vardy in the centre; the England striker duly scored his first UEFA Champions League goal and Leicester were back in the tie. Although Adil Rami's header rattled the top of the bar in the final stages, the scene was set for a fascinating second leg.

©Getty Images

Steven N'Zonzi

Key player: Steven N'Zonzi (Sevilla)
To find time amid a noisy maelstrom of movement is quite an art. N'Zonzi has the balance, vision and confidence to do this, to seemingly make time stand still, and this ability was only too apparent in a first half completely controlled by Sevilla. Leicester fans will remember N'Zonzi from his Stoke City days but he showed here he has found another level, always picking the right pass and always at the right speed, often in tandem with Nasri. He is enjoying a fine season and after two man-of-the-match showings in the group phase, he was as influential as anybody in a white shirt tonight.

Sampaoli's selection surprise pays off
In light of this display it seems anachronistic that a coach can't be man of the match. Jorge Sampaoli was not even on the touchline, due to suspension, never mind the field of play. But what a way to influence proceedings. He's a fan of microscopic preparation before choosing his tactics and team. And this time his work truly bore fruit. Pre-match, from supporters, media and ex-player analysts, nobody suspected that Sarabia, let alone a novice like Correa, would start. But both did. Important, touchstone players like Vicente Iborra and Fran Vázquez were left on the bench. The result? Correa won an early penalty, Sarabia's towering header made it 1-0 and Correa's second-half finish added the second.

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Schmeichel keeps Leicester in contention
Schmeichel began his UEFA Champions League career with four straight clean sheets. Because of injury he missed Leicester's last two group fixtures so he arrived here looking to keep a personal record intact. It lasted only another 25 minutes but that was through no fault of Schmeichel given his early penalty save. Indeed, but for the Dane, Leicester would have been two or three goals down at the interval. He provides authority and leadership too, as witnessed when he came over to the touchline during one first-half hiatus to berate colleagues.

Reporters' views
Graham Hunter (@BumperGraham)
This is new territory for Sevilla. For all that they've been the outstanding side in the history of the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Champions League has a personality of its own: elite and unforgiving. Sevilla played superbly here, in composure, tempo, creativity, daring, style, making chances. But they didn't get anything like the winning margin they merited. That's probably a product of experience and the standout brilliance of Schmeichel. So not only are Leicester still in this tie, Sevilla go to England with nerves and with that feeling, you'd guess, that Schmeichel's father used to induce in opposition. That feeling of: "How do we beat this guy as often as we should?" What a second leg in prospect. What a game this was.

Simon Hart (@UEFAcomSimonH)
Before Christmas we saw Good Leicester in the UEFA Champions League and Not-So-Good Leicester in the Premier League. This enabled the Foxes to shine in the group stage but there was no escaping the shadow of their domestic struggles in the first half when Leicester's football lacked any real belief or cohesion. Yet they did improve in the second half, helped by the introduction of Demarai Gray, and Vardy's first goal in ten matches gives them hope for the return. On the balance of play, they must be delighted with that.

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Last updated: 06/03/17 9.52CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2017/matches/round=2000784/match=2019616/postmatch/report/index.html#sevilla+edge+leicester

Lineups

sevilla

Sevilla

leicester

Leicester

1
RicoSergio Rico (GK)
1
SchmeichelKasper Schmeichel (GK)
3
Mariano FerreiraMariano Ferreira
4
DrinkwaterDanny Drinkwater
10
NasriSamir Nasri
5
MorganWes Morgan (C)
11
CorreaJoaquín Correa
Penalty14
Goal62
Substitution63
6
HuthRobert Huth
15
N'ZonziSteven N'Zonzi
7
MusaAhmed Musa
Substitution58
16
JovetićStevan Jovetić
9
VardyJamie Vardy
Goal73
17
SarabiaPablo Sarabia
Goal25
11
AlbrightonMarc Albrighton
Substitution88
18
EscuderoSergio Escudero
Yellow Card77
17
SimpsonDanny Simpson
20
VitoloVitolo (C)
25
NdidiWilfred Ndidi
23
RamiAdil Rami
26
MahrezRiyad Mahrez
45
LengletClément Lenglet
Substitution55
28
FuchsChristian Fuchs

Substitutes

13
SoriaDavid Soria (GK)
21
ZielerRon-Robert Zieler (GK)
4
KranevitterMatías Kranevitter
3
ChilwellBen Chilwell
6
Daniel CarriçoDaniel Carriço
Substitution55
Yellow Card90+2
10
KingAndy King
8
IborraVicente Iborra
Substitution63
13
AmarteyDaniel Amartey
Substitution88
9
ViettoLuciano Vietto
20
OkazakiShinji Okazaki
12
Ben YedderWissam Ben Yedder
22
GrayDemarai Gray
Substitution58
22
VázquezFranco Vázquez
29
BenalouaneYohan Benalouane

Coach

Juan Manuel Lillo Diez (ESP) Claudio Ranieri (ITA)

Referee

Clément Turpin (FRA)

Assistant referees

Nicolas Danos (FRA), Cyril Gringore (FRA)

Fourth official

Hicham Zakrani (FRA)

Additional assistant referees

Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Benoît Bastien (FRA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution