Sevilla took full advantage of a first-half Dinamo Zagreb sending-off to register a 4-0 win, replete with four different scorers, that moved them clear of Juventus in Group H.
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Sevilla ran out comfortable winners against Dinamo Zagreb in a meeting of the teams now top and bottom of UEFA Champions League Group H.
When Sevilla launched a fast attack just past the half-hour mark, Luciano Vietto received the ball in the inside-left channel and quickly powered his shot through goalkeeper Dominik Livaković from a tight angle. The second key moment came late in the first half when Dinamo's Petar Stojanovič picked up a second yellow card.
It was one-way traffic against the ten men, Sevilla patiently building attacks and asking questions of a visiting side still point-less in the section. Steven N'Zonzi was dominating midfield, with all the attacks springing from him. After the hour Sergio Escudero finally converted the second from another dangerous situation, before the powerful N[Zonzi scored with a nice header. Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder eventually wrapped things up from close range.
Key player: Sergio Escudero (Sevilla)
There were candidates. A bundle of them. Vietto's electric-quick movement for the breakthrough goal. N'Zonzi prowling, prompting and patrolling the midfield; setting the tempo; scoring the third. But Escudero was majestic. He ran his touchline, used the ball shrewdly, robbed possession on more than one occasion and then topped it all off with a goal to ensure the three points. What's more, this elegant, confident left-back played a lovely one-two wall pass and finished off his right boot. Some way to register a maiden UEFA Champions League goal. Top stuff.
No complacency at Sevilla
There's a very thin line in matters of sporting greatness. When does confidence, and muscular self-belief, gently slide into even a minor version of complacency? The question applies here because after three consecutive European trophies there could easily develop a level of expectation that 'everything will just continue as it is'. That's human nature.
However, Sevilla haven't got to that point. This is a rare thing in sport, something Jorge Sampaoli's countryman Diego Simeone has consistently achieved in recent seasons – a complete harmony of belief, attitude, intensity, sporting aggression and desire between coach, directors, players and fans. It's a powerful phenomenon.
This game was a further demonstration of the unit. Crowd roaring, players working, talent oozing, coach prompting and prowling. Good to watch too.
Even when they are playing well against top teams, Dinamo are always prone to make a stupid mistake and concede. It was the same tonight and that was the moment that changed the match. Coach Ivaylo Petev has to find a way to break this habit if he wishes to make this side capable of competing properly on the major European stages.
Graham Hunter, Sevilla (@BumperGraham)
When Sevilla appointed Sampaoli, he made a very firm declaration of principles. "Own" possession, attack, pass fluently, work like a team, attack, and "overcome" opponents. There are many individual working parts to make that clock tick week by week but one of the main cogs is pressing.
To "own" possession. to turn the ball over in areas which damage the opposition, it is imperative not to wait for other teams to show fallibility but to provoke it. Here Sevilla harrassed and mobbed and pressed and won the ball back time after time. Alongside Atlético, the side they defeated here a couple of weeks ago, they're probably the best at that art in the Liga.
Elvir Islamovic, Dinamo (@UEFAcomElvirI)
We have to be honest and say we didn't expect a miracle in Seville, but even so there is a feeling they could have given more. One mistake cost them a goal in the first half and Stojanovič's red card took away all hope. Down to ten men for a whole half against superior opponents, they simply didn't have a chance. And they also failed in another task in Spain: to score their first goal in the group.