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Iborra earns Sevilla slim Gladbach advantage

Sevilla FC 1-0 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
Vicente Iborra's second-half goal earned the holders a narrow advantage against the German visitors who held sway for long spells in Spain.

Mönchengladbach's Raffael takes on the Sevilla defence
Mönchengladbach's Raffael takes on the Sevilla defence ©AFP/Getty Images

Sevilla crown 100th UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League game with win
Vicente Iborra extends unbeaten home run against German opposition to ten
Victory makes it six successive home wins in competition for holders
Mönchengladbach left to rue fine form of Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico and Oscar Wendt miss
The second leg is next Thursday in Germany, with the last 16 draw the following day

Pushed all the way by a VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach that held sway for large chunks in the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla FC edged a 1-0 win thanks to Vicente Iborra's goal.

In an enjoyably heated encounter, holders Sevilla were made to sweat. After a fast start, they ceded control to Gladbach's midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Christoph Kramer and the Andalusian outfit were grateful for two fine saves from keeper Sergio Rico and a glaring miss from Oscar Wendt prior to snatching a 69th-minute winner through Iborra.

The game's early chances typified a refreshingly end-to-end game. After a flowing four-man move from Mönchengladbach ended in Christoph Kramer's low shot being repelled well by Rico, the home side promptly charged up the other end, this time Vitolo sending a clipped cross-cum-shot skidding past Yann Sommer's far post.

Rico was again to Sevilla's rescue on 33 minutes, this time denying Fabian Johnson one-on-one, while a genuinely golden opportunity also fell to the Foals soon after the interval. Handed the freedom of the edge of the six-yard box, Wendt could only drag his shot wide.

Responding to the urgency of their supporters, Sevilla threatened through Carlos Bacca and Ever Banega prior to Iborra's winner. Timing his surge forward perfectly, the rangy midfielder nudged Diogo Figueiras' fine cross in off the far post, though there is still all to play for come next Thursday's return.

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