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Sevilla stifled by ruthless Liberec

Published: Thursday 7 November 2013, 23.35CET
Sevilla FC 1-1 FC Slovan Liberec
The hosts controlled much of the game and led through Diego Perotti's fine free-kick, but a lethal counterattack allowed David Pavelka to equalise.
by Nick Aitken
from Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán

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Published: Thursday 7 November 2013, 23.35CET

Sevilla stifled by ruthless Liberec

Sevilla FC 1-1 FC Slovan Liberec
The hosts controlled much of the game and led through Diego Perotti's fine free-kick, but a lethal counterattack allowed David Pavelka to equalise.

As in the Czech Republic two weeks ago, it was honours even again between Sevilla FC and FC Slovan Liberec as the pair played out a 1-1 draw in Group H.

Dominant for much of a physical encounter against a rugged Liberec side, Sevilla took the lead their first-half display merited via a stunning set-piece from Diego Perotti. Despite maintaining their control after the interval, the home side's profligacy was punished by a spectacular counterattacking equaliser from Liberec's David Pavelka – yet they still could have won it at the death had Cala's effort not struck a post.

Thanks in good measure to the influence of defensive midfielder Stéphane Mbia, Sevilla directed proceedings. On 19 minutes, marauding right-back Coke zipped an effort just over the bar, and a half-volley from the lively Bryan Rabello then drew a fine low save from Lukáš Hroššo, before the opening goal came close to the half-hour. Upended just outside the box by Liberec skipper Radoslav Kováč, Sevilla's No10 Perotti dusted himself off and arrowed the resulting free-kick into the top-left corner.

After the interval, the probing of local hero José Antonio Reyes and Perotti kept Liberec pinned back. Reyes slipped a clever pass to striker Raul Rusescu on 51 minutes for a near-post drive tipped wide by Hroššo, before the rangy Mbia went close from successive corners.

More quick-thinking from Reyes and Perotti brought two golden chances, but both were wasted – which proved costly for the Andalusian club on 71 minutes, when they were undone by a ruthless counter. Liberec midfielder Pavelka exploited the advanced position of defender Federico Fazio, racing into the space and slamming a long-range shot past Javi Varas.

Despite the stalemate, section leaders Sevilla are slowly nearing the knockout stage, with Liberec determinedly clinging to their coattails two points back.

Last updated: 09/11/13 0.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000469/match=2012562/postmatch/report/index.html#liberec+stifle+sevilla

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