With what has happened this week, Sevilla FC ended what was a fairly poor league season today, having achieved the ultimate objective by winning in Budapest on Wednesday. Having logically rested the starting XI from the tough match against Roma, Mendilibar's men fell behind on the scoreboard midway through the first half. Whilst the away side reacted well after the break, a lack of clinical finishing gave Sociedad the chance to pretty much kill the game as they made it 2-0 through Ali-Cho. Lamela cut the gap to one and made the final quarter of an hour more exciting, but we lacked the fresh legs to be able to equalise against a team that has also qualified for the Champions League and gave us a guard of honour as we entered the pitch.
You cannot begin to analyse this match without giving a bit of context. With our objectives achieved and being 90 minutes away from holiday, partnered with many days of celebration following a huge effort to win the Europa League on Wednesday, the side still gave their all. In the first few minutes, Rafa Mir wasn't able to control Lamela's perfect pass to put him through on goal against Remiro. The home team fired back almost immediately through Sorloth's shot following a scramble in the box, with Dmitrovic making himself big to make the save. The Norwegian would fire over the bar in the next phase before Mendilibar faced an early obstacle as Montiel went down injured after just ten minutes, feeling a twinge when he started running. The returning international Jesús Navas replaced him.
Montiel had to leave the pitch early on having suffered a muscular problem
The game was a fun one to watch from the outset, with both teams having chances in their opponent's area. Before the 15th minute mark, Barrenetxea and Rafa Mir both had chances to open the scoring. For Sevilla, Manu Bueno replicated an impressive debut against Real Madrid, and his performance is very encouraging for Sevillistas, whilst Diego Hormigo had the tough task of keeping Kubo at bay. The Galician Brais sent a warning sign to Sevilla as his long shot went wide and would go on to score just before the half hour mark. A good attack started inside by Imanol slid Barrenetxea in behind Jesús Navas. His pass fell to Brais who scored past the oncoming Dmitrovic. It was just reward for Real Sociedad who had taken control of the game with Sevilla tired and weren't able to respond until after the half-time break.
Manu Bueno and the debutant Hormigo started for the away side
At the start of the second half Mendilibar brought on Alex Telles to replace the booked Hormigo. Gudelj was also taken off for a well-deserved rest, replaced by Nianzou. The team came out connected and almost equalised in the first play through Óliver, whose shot hit the post from Telles' cross. Manu Bueno forced Remiro into a great save, as did Lamela, with these efforts leading to corners. It was clear that our team was determined to push until the very end, but we were not lucky in front of goal. As a result, the coach looked to make more changes with Suso coming on for Manu Bueno. Sevilla were better, but not able to make the most of their chances and the fatigue began to kick in. Real Sociedad could have finished the game with two clear cut chances for Kubo, that he was not able to take.
Tectatito came on for Papu in the final third but the home side went in search of a second, which they found through substitute Ali-Cho. A ball from Jesús Navas to initiate an attack was regained by Sociedad in the middle of the pitch. Sorloth played in Cho, who beat Dmitrovic with a shot from the outside of his boot. It looked to be all over, but four minutes later Lamela cut the gap with a quality finish from Suso's beautifully weighted pass. This meant there was tension until the end, and Sociedad thought they had a third from a corner but it was ruled out for a foul on Navas. The home fans spurred their side on until the end and claimed the three points against a Sevilla side that were not quite up for it today. Still with the sweet taste of European victory in our mouths, we finish the season in twelfth place.