Sergio Reguilon scored a fine individual goal as Sevilla reached the Europa League quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Roma.
Reguilon, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, galloped through the Italians’ defence to notch the opener midway through the first period. Youssef En-Nesyri added a second shortly before half-time with Roma unable to mount a comeback after the restart. Their misery was compounded in injury time when Gianluca Mancini was sent off.
It was a much-deserved win for Sevilla, a club with a strong history in the competition, having won it a record five times - three of those consecutively between 2014 and 2016. However, Roma were as disappointing as the Spanish side were impressive.
Both sides arrived in strong form. Roma had beaten Serie A champions Juventus 3-1 at the weekend, while Sevilla boasted a 17-match unbeaten run stretching back to February.
French defender Jules Kounde - a club-record signing last summer from Bordeaux - will be relieved that the three clear-cut chances he had proved not to be decisive. One was a free header in the box that ricocheted off the crossbar in the 12th minute, while a 72nd-minute goal from the centre-back was deemed offside by the referee before a lengthy VAR check confirmed it.
Those types of chances proved how many more goals Sevilla could have had as they dominated the lifeless Galiorossi, who only managed one shot on target.
Admittedly, Roma were much improved in the second half with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bryan Cristante both going close within 10 minutes of the restart. However, the slow and ponderous outing from target man Edin Dzeko characterised the entire Roma squad, with players and staff alike looking despondent in the dugout and stands regardless of any signs of hope on the pitch.
Despite exiting the Europa League, the one silver lining for Roma could be the sale of the club that was confirmed earlier on in the day as American billionaire Dan Friedkin acquired the club for £532m.
Sevilla will play the winner of Wolverhampton Wanderers' clash with Olympiakos on August 11, with the remainder of the tournament continuing to take place at neutral venues in Germany.
Youssef En-Nesyri and Jules Kounde | FC Sevilla
Image credit: Getty Images
We needed you, Chris! Many on social media were bemoaning the absence of England international centre back Chris Smalling, whose parent club Manchester United refused to allow the loan signing to take part in the remainder of the Europa League in a decision that may have been influenced by their own hopes of winning the competition.
The late end to the football season has caused clubs to have to extend deals for loan signings and those with expiring contracts, and ironically Reguilon, who is on loan from Real Madrid, and Ever Banega, who is supposedly joining Saudi Arabia’s Al-Shabab, both played key roles in Sevilla’s win.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla): The big-money signing from Marseille last summer showed why he has had such a stellar season with an electric performance on the right-wing for Los Palanganas. He showed fantastic pace, movement and vision to gift En-Nesyri an easy finish for Sevilla’s second goal, but the Argentine international was a constant threat throughout.
Sevilla: Bounou 6, Carlos 6, Kounde 7, Navas 6, Reguilon 8, Banega 8, Fernando 8, Jordan 6, Ocampos 9, Suso 6, En-Nesyri 7...Subs: Munir 5, Vazquez N/A, De Jong N/A
Roma: Lopez 5, Ibanez 5, Mancini 4, Kolarov 6, Spinazzola 7, Cristante 6, Diawara 5, Peres 5, Mkhitaryan 6, Zaniolo 5, Dzeko 6...Subs: Pellegrini 6, Perez 6, Villar N/A
6’ - SAVE! Left-back Sergio Reguilon, who is on loan from Real Madrid, has been involved a lot so far in this match for Sevilla and he manages to find Ocampos, whose powerful shot is saved well by Pau Lopez.
12’ - CHANCE! Let off for the Roma defence as Banega puts in a beautiful cross from a corner on the left that is headed by Jules Kounde, who is in acres of space. It smacks the crossbar, much to the relief of the otherwise beaten Pau Lopez.
22’ - GOOOOAAAAAALLLL!! Sevilla 1-0 Roma. We all knew it was coming. Reguilon drives into the box powerfully, leaving Bruno Peres and Roger Ibanez in his wake before finishing past Lopez. Roma's goalkeeper could have perhaps done better, but it is still a brilliant goal that adds to an already brilliant season for the left-back.
44’ - GOOOOAAAAALLLL!!! Sevilla 2-0 Roma. Sevilla make it two with a glorious counter-attack as En Nesyri triumphantly smashes the ball home after a charging run from Ocampos down the right allowed him to put it on a plate for the Moroccan.
Sevilla's Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri celebrates scoring with Sevilla's Brazilian defender Diego Carlos during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 football match between Sevilla FC and AS Roma at the MSV Arena on August 6, 2020 in Duisburg
Image credit: Getty Images
51’ - CHANCE! Mkhitaryan drills a shot from the edge of the area marginally wide following some smooth link-up play between Zaniolo, Cristante and Dzeko. The Giallorossi are already looking a different team in this second-half. Is a comeback pending?
53’ - AND ANOTHER CHANCE! Golden opportunity for Cristante to score for Roma, which is followed by a couple of half-chances including a soft header from Dzeko that eventually allows Sevilla to diffuse the situation.
72’ - OFFSIDE! Sevilla's Kounde fires the ball home from a low Reguilon cross but it has been called offside! That one was tight though...VAR are checking the decision and Kolarov may have been playing the French centre-back onside. Nope, it's offside for sure.
90+10’ - RED CARD! It is a torrid end to a poor performance from Roma as VAR shows centre-back Gianluca Mancini used his arm violently to attack De Jong.
- Sevilla are the first team to eliminate the two Roman teams in the European club competitions history in a row: Lazio in the last 32 in Europa League 2018/19 and Roma in this season
- This was the first ever competitive meeting between Sevilla and Roma
Stats via Opta
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