Timothée Kolodziejczak was sent off as Sevilla warmed up for the UEFA Europa League final with a 3-1 defeat that means they end the Liga season without a single away win.
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Sevilla minds were clearly on Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final with Liverpool in their last outing of the Liga season as Unai Emery's heavily-rotated side were well beaten 3-1 at Athletic Club.
A first-half double by Athletic's 35-year-old Spain striker, Aritz Aduriz, gave the Basque outfit a commanding lead. Youngster Juan Muñoz reduced the arrears early in the second period but the momentum turned back Athletic's way. Timothée Kolodziejczak, a scorer when these sides met in the UEFA Europa League a couple of months back, was given a straight red card two minutes later.
Raúl García soon confirmed the hosts' victory with a customary header, meaning that Sevilla finish the Liga campaign without a single away victory. They will be hoping they fare better on neutral ground when they travel to Basel to take on Liverpool next week.
There were mitigating factors on Saturday, however. Sevilla were destined to finish seventh whatever happened, and of the starting XI, only Adil Rami, Vicente Iborra, Kolodziejczak and Yevhen Konoplyanka are likely to feature against Liverpool.
Copa del Rey to come
Sevilla's seventh-place finish represents a fall on the fifth they managed the previous two campaigns but nevertheless maintains their record of finishing in the top half for 15 successive seasons since returning to the Liga in 2001. They have one domestic game still to come this term, too: Sevilla face Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final at the Vicente Calderón next Sunday.
The Andalusian side have lifted the cup five times before and in 2007 they did it a few weeks after lifting the UEFA Cup – will lightning strike twice?