Typical Europa League Sevilla see off West Ham and take lead to London

Sevilla put in a typically assured European performance to seal a 1-0 victory over West Ham in the Europa League.

The home side were without eight potential starters for the clash but as tends to be the custom, Julen Lopetegui found a way to put out a competitive and organised team.

That being said, the first half was more promising for West Ham. Michail Antonio was just one of the players to trouble the Sevilla defence, which had to call on ‘keeper Yassine Bonou to keep their sheet clean.

Both sides carried a threat, but Munir El-Haddadi was unable to convert either with his head or feet the two best chances of the half for Sevilla. With captain Ivan Rakitic feeling ill before the game, Munir was a late addition to the side.

The second half began in a similar fashion, if a little tighter than than the first. The best performers on the night, the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan raised the noise levels and with that, Sevilla began to apply more pressure.

This paid dividends for Los Nervionenses on the hour mark, when Marcos Acuna floated the ball into path of Munir as part of an excellent set-piece routine. Munir connected sweetly this time and found the bottom corner with his finish.

For a spell of ten minutes, it looked as if Sevilla may turn their lead into commanding advantage. Lucas Ocampos and Youssef En-Nesyri couldn’t find the net but were key in the Sevilla onslaught.

To their credit, West Ham did manage a response. A deflected cross fell into the path of Manuel Lanzini, who was certain to score had it not been for a heroic Jesus Navas block deep in his own box.

From that point on, aware of the danger, Sevilla guarded their result first and attacked later. Once again, Lopetegui’s side showed that nobody manages European ties better than Sevilla and will travel to London in the knowledge that a draw will send them through.

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