Valencia could not compete with a dominant Sevilla who ended the game in the first half with a double from De Jong and a wonderful chip from Rakitić
It's often said in football that teams prioritise some competitions over others. Not with Julen Lopetegui's Sevilla FC. At the top level, every game is an opportunity to go and compete at the highest level and that is what Lopetegui and his players showed tonight. The Copa del Rey Round of 16 was dealt with in professional fashion and that was reflected in the scoreboard at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. A double from Luuk de Jong and a wonderful chip from Rakitić finished the game off in the first half against a Valencia who could do nothing to stop the dominant Sevilla offence.
Javi Gracia's team started strongly but Sevilla did not take long to show them who was in charge and who would control the game. Suso was the first to send off a warning with a shot from the edge of the box that flew just wide of Rivero's left-hand post. Five minutes later and from a set-piece the first goal would arrive. Acuña whipped a corner in and De Jong rose above Racic to head home. Koba and Jason had efforts from range which did not worry Bono. Sevilla wanted more and it would not be long before they had it. After a superb bit of build-up play, Munir was free on the left wing. He curved the ball perfectly into Suso's path on the right wing who laid it off first time to De Jong. The striker ran onto it and slotted it past the 'keeper to send Sevilla into control of the match.
Thirty minutes had gone in the first half but there was still time for the icing on top of the cake from Rakitić. The Croatian received the ball on the edge of the box and noticed Rivero was off his line. What followed was an expertly placed chip that left the 'keeper with no chance and displayed the class of Sevilla's number ten. It rounded off a perfect first half for Sevilla who dominated in all aspects, and they would not relent in the second half. With the first play of the second half, Jordán had a chance to head in a fourth but his effort from an Acuña cross was off target. De Jong shortly followed with an effort that just went wide of the post in what could have been the Dutchman's hat-trick.
Jordán and De Jong had chances to score a fourth at the start of the second half
With everything going swimmingly, bad news arrived when Jesús Navas pulled up when on the ball. The ball was knocked out of play and the Spaniard was withdrawn alongside Acuña, who came off for Vidal and Rekik. Just before, Óliver and Idrissi had come on in a game that was completely under control. The Moroccan winger would not take long to worry Rivero, but the goalkeeper was able to save his shot from the left wing. The substitutions changed the rhythm of the game but not the overall outlook. Valencia regrouped and began to mount some attacks on Bono's goal but the Moroccan, ever a safe pair of hands, was able to keep all efforts out.
Sevilla had the game won and began to prepare for Saturday's away match against Eibar. The minutes went by and the final whistle confirmed what had been known for a long time, that Sevilla FC would be in the draw for the quarter finals. Currently, they are accompanied by Levante UD, Villarreal CF and Real Betis. The other ties take place tonight and tomorrow and the quarter finals will be played between 2 and 4 February.
3. SEVILLA FC: Bono, Jesús Navas (Rekik, 67'), Sergi Gómez, Koundé, Acuña (Aleix Vidal, 68'), Gudelj, Joan Jordán (Idrissi, 63'), Rakitic, Suso (Óliver Torres, 63'), Munir and De Jong (En-Nesyri, 85').
0. VALENCIA CF: Rivero, Koba (Yunus, 90'), Guillamón, Paulista (Esquerdo, 53'), Lato, Kang In, Racic (Molina, 53'), Wass, Sobrino, Jason and Álex Blanco.
GOALS: 1-0, 20': De Jong; 2-0, 33': De Jong; 3-0, 38': Rakitic.
REFEREE: Carlos del Cerro Grande. Yellows for Acuña, Aleix Vidal and Munir.