A loss that is made a bit sweeter by the fact that we are heading into the next round of the Europa League, thanks to the good result we picked up in Nervión that saw us arrive in Turkey with a two goal advantage. The 2-0 aggregate score by no means meant that we were through, but despite being put under pressure for more than half of the game after Enner Valencia's penalty, Sevilla FC knew how to get through to the next stage and overcome Fenerbahçe. The home side were unable to equal the aggregate score, unlike in the Champions League in 2008, as Sampaoli's men denied them this opportunity. Sevilla FC qualified for the quarter-finals for the seventh time in its history, as Real Sociedad look to get past Roma to represent Spanish football in this stage of the competition.
Monchi spoke in the preview to the game that he hoped to see a similar Sevilla to the one that we saw for large parts of the game in Eindhoven and what we saw was a team capable of defending against the opposition, looking for space and not conceding many opportunities in the first half of the match. Fenerbahçe tried to cut the aggregate lead as soon as they could, with Batshuayi's effort not finding the back of the net, just before he had to go off injured. Bit by bit Sevilla were challenging the home side. Before the 15th minute, Rakitic tried to score past Altay, although the shot was too weak and was easily stopped by the keeper.
Although Sevilla weren't struggling, an unfortunate penalty put the tie up in the air
It would take 33 minutes for the home side to register their first shot on target, with a chip from Yüksek not catching Dmitrovic off guard. Owing to their necessity to win and loud support, the 50/50 calls were going the way of the Turkish side. This would be shown as, seven minutes before the break, a cross from Kadioglu would hit the hand of Telles, and having consulted VAR, Michael Oliver overturned his original decision and awarded the penalty. Valencia sent Dmitrovic the wrong way and made it 1-0. This lead could have been doubled if a Sevilla defender was not alert to clear the ball when Valencia was through on-goal. In the middle of this mess, the ref called for half time. The result was not what Sampaoli's side had wished for.
Fenerbahçe couldn't score twice against a well-organised Sevilla
There was no other option for Jorge Jesús' men than to go in search of the goal that would equal the scores on aggregate. There were times after the restart when there was danger in our box, like a shot from Güler that went just wide, an acrobatic effort from King that went over the bar, and a powerful shot from Valencia that left the woodwork shaking. Unfortunately, as was the case in Eindhoven, the game had to be stopped because of the fans, this time because of the objects that were being thrown at Dmitrovic, who had to be seen to by the medics. Unlike our last knockout game, the stop appeared to damage the home side's efforts to equalise. Sampaoli reacted by taking off an exhausted En-Nesyri, and bringing on Lamela, Ocampos and Suso to look for a goal of our own.
Acuña's effort was tipped over by Altay for a corner, and Valencia's last action of the game was to fire a shot which was well-saved by Dmitrovic. The full-time whistled beckoned and Sevilla could have killed the tie with a penalty that was not awarded when Suso went down. Nine minutes were added on by the fourth official but luckily, the closest that either side went to scoring was Pamela's free kick that was expertly saved by Altay. At the end of the game, the side was happy with the resistance they had shown as we enter the next round of the draw which will take place on Friday at 13:00 in Nyon. It's our job to keep on fighting, despite the difficulties, in the competition that belongs to Sevilla FC..