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Nasri gives Sevilla victory at Dinamo

Sevilla maintained their increasingly impressive Group H challenge as a well-worked Samir Nasri goal in the first half proved enough for a 1-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb.

Matchday 3 highlights: Dinamo Zagreb 0-1 Sevilla

Sevilla followed up their first Liga away win since 2015 with their first UEFA Champions League away success in seven years after a controlled display in Croatia earned three Group H points against Dinamo Zagreb.

The match-winning moment came in the first half when a smooth, confident move down the left ended with the impressive Samir Nasri using a delicate finish to glance the ball in at the near post.

Zagreb, urged on by their noisy support all night, chased and pressed but Jorge Sampaoli will assess the misses by Nasri and Luciano Vietto and conclude that this performance merited a clearer winning margin.

Key player: Samir Nasri (Sevilla)
So good last time out in this competition that his coach singled him out for praise. Nasri said in a recent interview that, while Josep Guardiola had asked him to stay and fight for a place at Manchester City, he'd had "two seconds'" hesitation before accepting this loan move to Sevilla. "A club where many top players have been reborn," the Frenchman explained. It is a process which continues. Influential, responsible and fluent all night, Nasri's goal was an absolute gem. Not only is the 30-year-old enjoying his football again, he's making watching Sevilla all the more fun for his subtlety, intelligence and flair. Chapeau.

Petev puts his faith in youth
It was interesting to see what new coach Ivaylo Petev could do with this Dinamo Zagreb team. Despite a shortage of quality, especially for the top level of the UEFA Champions League, they managed to stay in the game until the final whistle. The progress in discipline was obvious, the home side reacting much better than against Lyon and Juventus, but it wasn't enough for a draw. Petev will nevertheless be pleased with the response from his players, which bodes well for the future.

Samir Nasri goes close again for Sevilla
Samir Nasri goes close again for Sevilla©AFP/Getty Images

Sevilla rediscovering formula for away success
What an elixir, magic potion even, a domestic away win appears to be. In the Liga they had gone 22 visits to Spanish opponents, since 2015, without victory. A curious anomaly given this is the club who have won three straight UEFA Europa Leagues. However, even though their weekend success in Madrid, at Leganés, came late on against Liga debutants, it was evident that self-assurance is flowing through the veins of Sampaoli's team. From the outset they controlled the ball, the tempo, and they registered what will be one of the goals of this European week. Should they have scored more? Yes. Sevilla – hard at work, but also a work in progress.

Reporters' views

Elvir Islamović, Dinamo (@UEFAcomElvirI)
Almost half of the starting XI were aged 18–22, which is great. New coach Petev obviously decided to instil some new energy and spirit, and local boys – who would give everything for this club – are the real value of Dinamo Zagreb. Despite the loss, which pretty much everybody expected, we saw some forgotten passion and the joy of playing for this club in this competition. They were defending hard, they gave their best, and they have no reason for regrets.

Graham Hunter, Sevilla (@BumperGraham)
Football isn't often allowed to be a game of patience and investment these days. But Sevilla are different. They understand the value of waiting for good indications to become good times. That's been one of the characteristics of this, the most glorious ten years in their history. Thus they won't be overly jittery that the same faults plagued this match as did their last game at home to Lyon. More and more the philosophy of coach Sampaoli is coming to fruition. Intelligent, consistent circulation of the ball, high levels of possession, pressing and a will to play on the 'front foot'. What was missing again was clinical efficiency, something Sampaoli's pupils are still learning.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images