That which had started well, ended well. Sevilla gifted 40,000 expectant Sevillistas in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán one of the performances of the season and a night to remember - finishing off the 1-2 first-leg win with an intense, spirited and famous victory against an Atlético Madrid side who were outclassed on all fronts. The semi-finals await
It's football. Only football can explain what we witnessed tonight at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. Despite the positive result in the first leg, nobody took a path to the semi-finals as a given. Montella had said before the game that he wanted his players to treat the second-leg as a stand-alone game to win, and that's exactly what his players did. A goal from Sergio Escudero after just 25 seconds sent the Sánchez-Pizjuán into dreamland and gave Sevilla even more daylight in the tie. But it was never going to be easy; Griezmann was the one to spice things up, putting the visitors level after 13 minutes and giving the Nervionenses only a slender lead heading into the second-half. After the restart there was only one team who showed the heart to win. A Banega penalty not two minutes from the restart made Nervión believe, then a Pablo Sarabia wonder-goal ten minutes from time gave Sevilla a richly-deserved path to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
The game had barely started before Sevilla showed just how much they wanted to put Atlético away. A fast bit of play on the right wing led to a cross from Sarabia, who found the right foot of Escudero - unleashing an unstoppable effort that gave Sevilla the dream start in Nervión. There was no better way of showing intent to Simeone's side, who as always showed their preference to be patient and steady in the opening minutes. Their steadiness would pay off soon and the Colchoneros would not have to wait long to get back into the game.
Madness followed Escudero's early goal in a start which proved Sevilla's heart
After seeing Sergio Rico off his line, Antoine Griezmann sent a delightful curling shot over the keeper's head, finding the top corner with an un-savable effort. Fifteen minutes had barely passed and the game already showed the tension of a classic. Griezmann would stay dangerous for the rest of the half - failing to take advantage of half-chances; and Mudo Vázquez was inches away from putting Sevilla back in front, with a deft header that floated just inches wide of Moya's goal.
Come half-time it looked like the Nervionenses were in for a very tense final 45 minutes. But come the restart, the Sevilla faithful would only have to wait one minute to be given hope of security in the tie. A Joaquín Correa run was halted in the box unfairly and Sevilla had a penalty that would give them the chance at daylight in the aggregate scoreline. Banega would show nerves of steel to put it past a diving Moya and Sevilla once again were in front. Mere minutes later Sergio Rico proved that nothing would stop Sevilla from reaching the semis - pulling off the save of the season to deny what would have been an extremely unlucky equaliser. The Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán was electric and Sevilla were possessed. Even with the attacking weapons at their disposal, Atlético couldn't find the chances to put themselves back in the tie.
An electric Sánchez-Pizjuán carried each player one of the best performances of the season
And with every substitution came the appreciation of every Sevillista in the stand. Ben Yedder replaced Muriel - who came off the field to a standing ovation 12 minutes from time - and far from sitting back and welcoming Atlético attacks, Sevilla still looked dangerous. Eleven minutes from time Pablo Sarabia would find himself with a golden chance to put Sevilla 3-1 up on the counter. He would do just that, baffling the Atlético defense with his agility and releasing a beautiful left-footed strike to seal the tie.
Sevilla will find out their semi-final opponents this Friday. Though playing as the Nervionenses did over these two legs, it's hard to see how anyone could stop Sevilla in this competition.
3. SEVILLA FC: Sergio Rico, Jesús Navas, Mercado, Lenglet, Escudero, N`Zonzi, Banega, Sarabia, Vázquez (Pizarro, 83), Correa (Nolito, 86) and Muriel (Ben Yedder, 72).
1. ATLÉTICO MADRID: Moyá, Vrsaljko, Giménez (Thomas, 64), Godín, Lucas, Saúl, Gabi (Fernando Torres, 55), Koke, Ángel Correa (Carrasco, 59), Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro.
GOALS: 1-0, 25 seconds: Escudero. 1-1, minute 13: Griezmann. 2-1, minute 48: Banega. 3-1, minute 78: Sarabia.
REFEREE: Martínez Munuera. Yellows for Giménez, Banega, Gabi, Vázquez, Gabi, Ángel Correa, Mercado and Fernando Torres.