Sevilla FC fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat this Sunday against CD Leganés, showing all the signs of fatigue from a week of European football; Montella's pick up their second consecutive La Liga loss
The perfect week wasn't to be. After making history in Old Trafford in the Champions League, Sevilla FC dropped another three points in La Liga Santander - this time in Butarque against a well-organised and energetic Leganés, who emerged 2-1 victors. After an even opening forty minutes, the hosts opened the scoring through a set-piece - a looping Bustinza header escaping Sergio Rico. In the second-half, when the reds needed to find a reply, the Pepineros struck again through Eraso. Though Miguel Layún was to find a consolation in the dying minutes, it was too late for Sevilla and Leganés had the points secured.
From the off it was clear that Leganés were out to end a rocky run of form in Butarque. Playing with intensity and threatening through Amrabat, the hosts wouldn't take long in firing warning shots. Just seven minutes in, Clément Lenglet's defensive instincts were tested, after Amrabat toed the ball bast Sergio Rico and the French centre-back needed to clear off the line. Sevilla tried their tried and tested link up play between Nzonzi, Sarabia and Vázquez but lacked the final ball and connection to truly threaten the hosts' goal.
Coming out intense and determined, Leganés went close early
Sevilla's biggest chance was to come through Pablo Sarabia just after twenty minutes had passed. After finding a pocket of space in the Leganés area, the Spanish winger would release a curling left-footed effort for Leganés' far post. Unfortunately Cuéllar would be there with a strong hand to keep the deadlock unbroken. Between Saraba's chance and half-time, not much separated the sides and chances dried up. Five minutes from the break, however, the hosts would find a way through from a dead-ball situation. After a swinging corner to the back post, Bustinza would be allowed to convert a header that looped back over Sergio Rico. Unable to find an immediate reaction, Sevilla went in one behind.
Sevilla needed to be more incisive and quick come the restart but failing to find the dynamism that could have turned the game on its head, Sevilla never threatened to create dangerous clear cut chances. With Ben Yedder isolated up front, the visitors' attacks broke down all too often, with stray passes and unnecessary offsides robbing Sevilla of rhythm. Leganés looked even less threatening, instead focusing on a compact and organised defensive display that frustrated the Sevillistas. The only chance Sevilla could fashion was a long-range Miguel Layún effort that was well smothered.
Sevilla didn't find the necessary reaction in the second-half and Eraso would punish the visitors
As punishment for Sevilla's lack of zeal, Leganés would widen the deficit just over ten minutes after the second-half had started. With Diego Rico given far too much space on the right hand side, Eraso would be the clear option in the box to finish. Making no mistake with a side-footed strike, the hosts had their second and Sevilla had a mountain to climb. Montella looked to the bench, bringing on Muriel and Arana to join Sandro but neither of the three subs would make the needed impact. With minutes ticking away, Sevilla's job would become even harder with a sending off for Pablo Sarabia (picking up a slightly harsh second yellow card that takes him out of our Easter showdown with FC Barcelona). Ironically though, it would be with one less man on the field that Sevilla would find a consolation: Miguel Layún scoring his first goal for the club.
With an international break, Sevilla will now need to focus their efforts to the training ground and prepare for an Easter clash with FC Barcelona. With Sarabia now suspended, there is at least comfort in the fact Correa will be back after serving his ban for one too many yellow cards. A reaction will be needed against our Copa del Rey Final opponents.