Sevilla FC never surrender. In a real show of determination, the side got back to winning ways at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. In a game that was headed in their favour after Bryan Gil's first goal, a needy RCD Espanyol managed to break the deadlock before the end of the first half. With the perseverance and persistence that characterises José Luis Mendilibar's side, the Nervión outfit managed to come from behind as the game drew to a close, securing a vital win ahead of the final stretch of the season.
José Luis Mendilibar's men took to the field with the conviction to control the ball and quickly find the opposition's penalty area, with the home side dominating their opponents. The first big chance of the game came from Alex Telles' cross which, following a poor clearance from the visitors' defence, left Óliver Torres in a clear position, but he was unable to find a way past Pacheco.
The Catalan side were looking to surprise a Sevilla FC side who were very well positioned on the pitch in the early stages with crosses from the flanks. The first quarter of an hour into the game was reached when Rafa Mir, taking advantage of a delicate pass from Suso behind the back of the defence, surprised with a half-volley shot that did not find the target in an attempt that was disallowed for offside.
Bryan Gil put the home side in front before the visitors equalised
Bryan Gil scored whilst the fans applauded, paying their respects to the late Dani Jarque. Making the most of a loose ball in the area, the Sevilla forward didn’t miss with his shot, that would initially be ruled out as the assistant believed that he was in an offside position. Following an intervention from VAR, Bryan’s goal was given. RCD Espanyol reacted quickly as they attacked down the left-wing, sending a cross into the box that Rekik unfortunately sent pass Dmitrovic. This was also checked by VAR, and the goal was given as Joselu, who was in an offside position, was considered not to have interfered with play.
To add insult to injury, Suso has to come off injured and was replaced by Lucas Ocampos. Neither side was dominant, and Pape Gueye would threaten Pacheco’s goal again after a corner, but the offside flag was raised once again. With the first half coming to a close, the visitors scored their second with a wonderful strike from Puado, from the edge of the area leaving Dmitrovic helpless in goal.
Ocampos wouldn’t miss from eleven yards out to equalise
In the second half, with José Luis Mendilibar bringing on En-Nesyri and Acuña, our boys wouldn’t stop pressurising the opposition’s box. Sending numbers into their area, our side had to be cautious and keep men back because Joselu was an effective attacking force, and a way for the away side to relieve pressure. It looked like it might not be our day with Ocampos going close to equalising.
Mendilibar’s men did not stop in their efforts and went close with a deflected cross from Navas. Sevilla FC deserved a goal, which they would get from the penalty spot thanks to Lucas Ocampos, after Pape Gueye was fouled in the box. With the score now level, Sevilla FCs confidence grew and could have gone in front with a good headed effort from En-Nesyri going just wide.
In the second half, the coach made the second forced substitution of the match after Bryan Gil went off the pitch without being able to continue. With their heart and soul, the Sevilla players reached the end of regular time with the same intensity with which they had started the second half. Lucas Ocampos, one of the most active players in attack, could well have added the second goal to his tally with a header that was tipped over the crossbar of Pacheco's goal.
The Argentinian's header was the prelude to the home side's reward. After a great assist from Acuña, Pape Gueye completed the comeback with a shot at the near post to seal the game. With three valuable points secured in the final stretch of the season, the Sevilla side now look ahead to the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.
3. SEVILLA FC: Dmitrovic, Jesús Navas, Gudelj, Rekik, Alex Telles (Acuña, minute 46), Rakitic, Gueye, Óliver Torres (Badé, minute 88), Bryan Gil (Montiel, minute 75), Suso (Lucas Ocampos, minute 31), Rafa Mir (En-Nesyri, minute 46).
2. RCD ESPANYOL: Pacheco, Gil, Montes, Sergi Gómez, Cabrera, Oliván (Rubén, minute 65), Melamed (Bare, minute 82), Denis Suárez (Edu Expósito, minute 82), Darder (Vinicius Souza, minute 60), Puado, Joselu.
GOALS: 1-0: Bryan Gil, minute 25. 1-1: Joselu, minute 31. 1-2: Puado, minute 43. 2-2: Ocampos, minute 69. 3-2: Gueye, minute 88.
REFEREE: Javier Alberola Rojas, from Castile-La Mancha. Yellow cards for Bryan and Denis Suárez.