FC Bayern managed to meet expectations by winning in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán but were made extremely uncomfortable by a Sevilla side who were unlucky to see Sarabia's opener cancelled out by an own goal before half-time. With a renewed performance in the second-half, the German side found a second away goal through a deflected Thiago header and closed out the game professionally
A result that many were predicting before Bayern and Sevilla crossed swords in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán was accompanied by a performance that many did not from Sevilla FC. Edging a tight affair, Bayern Munich managed a 1-2 victory in Nervión thanks to an incredibly unlucky own goal from Jesús Navas and a deflected header from Thiago. Pablo Sarabia would give the Nervionenses the lead before half-time to reward the hosts for an outstanding first-half performance but Navas’ deflected own goal minutes later and a much improved Bayern performance come the restart would push the visitors to find a winner 68 minutes into the tie. Though Sevilla pushed late into the game, their efforts weren’t enough, leaving Bayern with an advantage heading into the second-leg in the Allianz Arena.
If anyone expected Sevilla to lie down for Bayern Munich tonight, they would have been disappointed. Though Bayern threatened early in the game, Sevilla looked the more likely of the two sides at the start of affairs. Navas and Escudero looked especially dangerous from full-back and a front-line of Correa, Vázquez, Sarabia and Ben Yedder made life very difficult for the Bayern backline. Clear chances took a while to come but on 19 minutes, it would be Sevilla – through Sarabia – who would have the first. After a whipped ball to Ben Yedder from the left broke loose to the Spanish winger in the Bayern area, it seemed as though Sarabia was left with too much time to think before striking. Curling the ball with his right, he would fire wide.
Sarabia's opener set Nervión alight, though unluckily, Sevilla's lead would not last
It was the first warning shot and as the first-half ticked by, Sevilla grew in confidence. Despite a lot of possession, Bayern did not create much – a long-range Thiago strike the only work David Soria would have to do before 25 minutes had passed. Sevilla would respond quickly through Sarabia who saw a 25-yard effort punch away. It wouldn’t be long before Sarabia and Sevilla would be rewarded for their work. A teasing ball from Sergio Escudero to the Bayern back post would be won by the Spanish midfielder; this time, he would make no mistake firing past Ulreich with his left and sending the Sánchez-Pizjuán into raptures. A matter of seconds later, there would be a changing point in the game – Arturo Vidal giving way to James Rodríguez for Bayern. Not on the field more than five minutes, Rodríguez would have an impact right away. Finding Ribéry on the right, the French winger would find a huge stroke of luck for Bayern, striking against Navas, who unsuspecting, could not prevent the ball deflecting into Soria’s net. Half-time, Sevilla unlucky to not be ahead.
The second-half would be a very different story. Coming out calmer on the ball, pressing high and attacking quicker than they had done in the opening 45 minutes, Bayern were allowed to take control of the game, forcing Sevilla into a period of patient defensive work. Vázquez made his best effort to lift Sevilla's attacking play but a long-range James Rodríguez shot and a Javi Martinez strike that forced a stunning save out of David Soria were the warning signs of what was to come. After a long period of dominant possession thanks to the cool work of James Rodríguez, a curling ball to Sevilla's back post found Thiago, who heading downward, saw his effort deflect in off the heel of Sergio Escudero. Bayern had completed their comeback.
Things changed dramatically in the second-half and Bayern came out with far more control
Now with an advantage in the tie, Heynckes' side, for the first time, took a step back and allowed Sevilla to come at them. Knowing the Nervionenses would push hard for an equaliser, Bayern started to attack on the break. A long-range effort from Nzonzi was the closest Sevilla went as time ran out, though efforts from Vázquez and Sandro also forced saves out of Ulreich. Muriel coming on for Ben Yedder could not make the decisive difference either and despite spirit, Sevilla simply could not find their second goal.
An unfortunate result following an impressive first-half performance and a brave renewed effort in the latter stages of the second-half but by no means the end of the tie as attentions now turn to the second-leg in the Allianz Arena. Before then Sevilla will need to travel to Galicia to face Celta Vigo on Saturday but the Nervionenses will take comfort in the fact that - having already won in the Theatre of Dreams - no matter where the team travels, no win is impossible. Sevilla will travel to Germany fighting with everything it has.
1. SEVILLA FC: David Soria, Jesús Navas, Kjaer, Lenglet, Escudero, Pizarro, NZonzi, ‘Mudo’ Vázquez, Sarabia, Correa (Sandro, 77) and Ben Yedder (Muriel, 80).
2. FC BAYERN: Ulreich, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Bernat (Rafinha, 46), Javi Martínez, Vidal (James, 36), Müller, Thiago, Ribery (Robben, 79) and Lewandowski.
GOALS: 1-0, 31: Sarabia. 1-1, 37: Jesús Navas, own goal. 1-2, 67: Thiago.
REFEREE: Daniele Orsato. Yellows for Ribery, Correa, Bernat, Müller and Pizarro.