This result shocked the system, given our current run of form. Sevilla FC fell to defeat on Monday evening at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. Coming up against a good attacking side in Girona, having drawn at the Camp Nou and thumped Real Madrid at home, Sevilla were not as clinical as the visitors, who fell behind early on and struggled to come back. To add insult to injury, Sevilla looked more threatening in the second half but a goal from Míchel doubled the away side's lead. Sevilla had all the momentum in the final third in the final period of the match, but were not able to score that elusive goal.
Sevilla were made to feel uncomfortable from the start against Girona, a team that had still not guaranteed their survival, had a lot of quality in their starting eleven and looked to constantly cause the home team problems on the counter attack. Sevilla showed energy up top as they sought to work Gazzaniga, but it was difficult to find En-Nesyri amongst the several defenders at the back. It took eight minutes for the first opportunity to arrive to Bryan Gil, who was our main attacking outlet in the first half, but our academy product was unable to connect cleanly with the goal gaping. Whilst Girona didn't seem to display a clinical edge either, Tsygankov forced Gudelj into making a brilliant block to keep the scores level. With little space ahead of him, En-Nesyri continued to drop between the lines and made room to get a shot away after twenty minutes, but it went over the bar.
Girona came forward with quality and made space to attack
And if Mendilibar's side looked uncomfortable in the face of Girona's attacking approach, things got even more complicated at set-pieces, with Juanpe finding the back post at the midway point of the first half to find the back of the net from a corner. It was a setback for Sevilla on a night when they were lacking in precision and the referee's irregular judgement didn't help either, as certain decisions were on the borderline between fouls and mere contact. Even so, the Sevilla team tried, and despite Girona's demonstration that they knew how to get the ball back into play very well, they dominated the final stretch of a first half in which Bryan again came close to scoring a goal. This time with a cross from the right, which he shot just inside the six-yard box but which Gazzaniga met only for a defender to turn behind for a corner. There was still time, in stoppage time, for Riquelme to almost capitalise on a mistake in the Sevilla delivery with a shot that went narrowly over.
The team came out with purpose in the second half, but Castellanos' goal was a blow.
Sevilla had to come out strong and they did, pushing hard in their opponents' half and pinning Girona back. Montiel had a chance with a lofted ball into the box that did not find the net, but the first time Girona had a chance, in a superbly constructed counter-attack, they found the second goal. In just a few touches, Míchel's team were on top, with Riquelme's shot hitting the crossbar and Castellanos making the most of the rebound. Mendilibar, who brought on Suso and Rakitic in place of Papu Gómez and Fernando in an attempt to bolster the midfield and try to push forward in an attempt to get back into the game, had the game in the balance. And while in recent matches luck seemed to be on Sevilla's side, this time the ball was not going in despite clear chances. Bryan Gil hit the post in an effort that ended up being disallowed and Acuña, with great faith, hit it hard and the ball ended up going just inches over the crossbar.
Mendilibar brought on Rafa Mir in place of Pape Gueye in a bid to go all out up front, but lacked the composure and precision required to take the game to the wire against a Girona side who refused to come out of the blocks and remained resolute at the back. The definitive proof of this was Suso's shot against the crossbar in the last act of the match. After a good month in April, Sevilla have suffered their first defeat under their new coach and the gap to the relegation zone remains at ten points. This Thursday, Sevilla will have the chance to make up for the loss, as they face Espanyol at home in the last game before travelling to Turin.