The points were shared between Sevilla FC and RC Lens in our UEFA Champions League opener at the Sánchez-Pizjuán. It was an encounter where the home side posed lots of attacking threat, but were matched in a moment of class by the French. Both teams handled the pressure of Europe's biggest stage as both enjoyed periods of dominance. Among the highlights was a terrific save from Dmitrovic to deny the visitors a second goal with less than 15 minutes to play, meaning Ocampos's goal was enough to secure Sevilla's first points of the European campaign.
In a high-octane first half at the Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla FC dominated their opponent and, based on both chances created and overall play, deserved more than the 1-1 scoreline at the break. Ocampos opened the scoring with just nine minutes on the clock, meeting a Rakitic corner with a deft near-post header that looped over visiting keeper Brice Samba and found the far corner. Mendilibar's side were on top, dealing with the French threat, running the midfield battle through Sow and Fernando and using the width provided by full-backs Pedrosa and Juanlu to great effect. However, the visitors converted the one clear chance they had. Having been comfortably second-best in the opening exchanges, Fulgini turned the tie back in his team's favour in the 24th minute, curling home a free-kick from the edge of the box. Ocampos and Lamela both then had efforts at the visiting goal but neither were able to put the hosts back in front.
Dmitrovic prevented a second away goal in the 77th minute, saving well after Guilavogui headed goalward from a corner.
In the first fifteen minutes after half-time, it was the French side who had the better of the play with the opposition beginning to control the midfield battle. José Luis Mendilibar brought on Soumaré and Lukébakio in a big to strengthen the midfielder and break down the left. As the game went on neither side could generate clear chances although Lukébakio had the best chance with two shots in a row and he helped to push our attack on.
In the 77th minute Dmitrovic saved what looked to be a certain goal from Lens. A great counterattack after playing their way out from the Sevilla press, ended with a inch-perfect cross Guilavogui, which the Serbian keeper produced and excellent save to keep the scores level. From the resulting corner Dmitrovic was again on hand to save a header from RC Lens in the closing stages of the game. Mariano and Jesús Navas were the last roll of the dice from Mendilibar, as Juanlu and En-Nesyri came off. Mariano was involved right away, winning a corner. Sergio Ramos, from another corner, had a good chance but his header drifted wide of Samba’s right hand post. Mariano had one last chance, but he was penalised for offside. With little time for anything else, the referee blew the full-time whistle as the teams shared the points.
1. SEVILLA FC: Dmitrovic, Juanlu (Jesús Navas, 79'), Gudelj, Sergio Ramos, Pedrosa, Fernando, Sow (Soumaré, 62'), Rakitic (Suso, 73'), Ocampos, Lamela (Lukébakio, 62') y En-Nesyri (Mariano, 79').
1. RC LENS: Samba, Gradit, Danso, Medina, Mendy (Diouf, 70'), Samed, Frankowski, Machado (Haidara, 84'), Sotoca, Fulgini (Thomasson, 75') y Wahi (Guilavogui, 70').
GOLES: 1-0 Ocampos,8'. 1-1 Fulgini, 24'.
REFEREE: Tobias Stieler. Yellow cards for Medina, Sotoca, Samba, Fulgini, Gudelj, Sergio Ramos, Ocampos and Haidara.