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Atletico Madrid away – 1st leg – Copa del Rey Quarter Final

Sevilla players were greeted at SVQ airport this morning by supporters holding a banner that read “No le falles a toda tu gente. Levántate y lucha” – roughly translated as “don’t fail your people, lift yourselves up and fight!” – Which if the advice is heeded, would be just fantastic! The cold reality is however, unless things have changed dramatically behind the scenes since Sunday, we are on a hiding to nothing tonight in the Wanda Metropolitano against a ruthless and undoubtedly bloodthirsty Atletico Madrid.

The players know the fans are not happy with the way things are going, and I am sure at least some of them are hurting and want to turn this awful run around. Whether they are able to do that tonight is another story. Atletico already breezed past us 2-0 in September at a time when they were struggling and we were doing not too bad, but the trajectories of both clubs since then has been almost diametrically opposite. There is nothing quite like an easy home game against Sevilla to boost your sides waning confidence, as has been the case for a few seasons now for many clubs.

The recent form table does not make for pleasant reading either. We have now lost 4 of our last 5 league games, scoring 4 and conceding 14! Atletico on the other hand have won 4 of their last 5, scoring 5 and conceding only 1 measly goal. They are notorious for having the meanest defence probably in World Football, and on their day can make watching paint dry seem a more pleasant and exciting alternative.

Their attack will likely consist of the rejuvenated animal, otherwise known as Diego Costa, not to mention having ex-Sevilla stars’ Gameiro and Vitolo to call upon. Even with just this brief preview, it is fair to say our chances don’t look good, and the best we could probably hope for is to come away with minimal damage to our cup chances, team spirit and reputation.

Ok, I’m depressing myself and probably all of you now, so do we have any reasons for optimism? It seems like Chelsea’s Belgian international forward Batshuayi will be joining us this window… and if Montella can get the team playing the way they did for 60 minutes against Betis (minus the leaky defense) then we will still be in with a fighting chance of salvaging something from this season. However, this is all to be seen.

Squad list, with notable omission of Guilherme Arana, for tonight as follows:

So, how do you think we will line up? Will it even matter? How about score predictions?

I personally would like to see us try and spoil the game, play our physically strongest players, Mercado, Sarbia etc. and do what we did a few seasons ago in the Calderon. Leave Ben Yedder and Correa up front to run on to any out-balls we can provide them with.

As for score prediction, I am going for 3-0 to Atletico, but I sincerely hope I am wrong and we can come away from Madrid with something to hold on to.

Notable Replies

  1. Brian says:

    Yes and if you watch the video not one player acknowledged the fans. They all looked the other way and walked straight past them.

  2. that is disappointing indeed…

    Starting XI has just been announced

    Rico
    Corchia Mercado Lenglet Escudero
    Sarabia N’Zonzi Banega Correa
    Mudo
    Ben Yedder

  3. Corchia with the shot when 3 players in box waiting for the cross. Shame. We are fighting though, just like the fans asked

  4. Vitolo with a trademark dive to gain a penalty. I used to put up with it when he did it for us, but seems even more disgusting to try it against us.

  5. Best move of the game by Sevilla so far, Sarabia screws up the final pass to Correa, but great work by Muriel in the build up. Earlier, Goalkeeper saves one against one from Correa, before that, Correa header on target, saved.

    3 chances created. (4 including the Mudo shot in first few minutes)

  6. Moya saves again, this time a superb long range shot by Escudero.

  7. Escudero with a dipping long range shot. Sooo close to sneaking in

  8. ShendM says:

    Not a bad half. Surprised we’re putting a solid performance after a long time now.

    Hope we can at least score a goal and not concede more than 2… would keep the chances of doing something in the return leg high.

    VAMOSSS!!!

  9. Gollllllllll

  10. Rene1 says:

    walked away for 30 seconds and missed it!

  11. Walk away for another 30 seconds in about 6 minutes time :wink:

  12. Rene1 says:

    will do!

  13. Godin went through Corchia there. Deliberate. Animals

  14. Incredible!!!

  15. Rene1 says:

    aaaahhhhh!!!

  16. Close it up Sevilla, I want to see players down pretending to be injured.

  17. Guess we’re back to Dicen que nunca se rinde again.

    Oh, and LOL Vitolo.

  18. ShendM says:

    This is Sevilla, ladies and gentlemen!

    I hope this wasn’t a one-off wonder and similar performances will continue.

    Things to note: Mercado way better at CB than at RB. The defensive fix would be, Mercado starting alongside Lenglet as CB pair, Kjaer on the bench. Corchia is very prone to injury as his knee ligaments are very weak (so I read), therefore we need a new RB urgently (hopefully Vidal, but even Hugo Mallo would do).

    In overall, all the players played with heart… this is what Sevilla is about. So, at this point, we now know that we have the quality, we just lack the will/passion and the right direction. Hopefully the right direction is coming with Montella, but he can’t do anything if there is a lack of commitment within the players.

    It seems that, after all, there is a tiny light in the end of the tunnel after tonight.

    VAMOS MI SEVILLA!!! VAMOS CAMPEON!!!

  19. That kind of happened to us in Orlando too, minus N’Zonzi, Kono and I think that was it.

  20. Wow! I didn’t see that one coming at all. My preview was all a bit doom and gloom, but I reckon not even the most optimistic Sevillista would have seen us walk away from there with a 2-1 lead into the 2nd leg.

    Few thoughts… just how much of a thug team are Atletico? I didn’t catch who did it, but that tackle on Muriel in the first half ripped a hole in his sock. Lucky for Muriel it was not a lot worse. Not sure why he insists on wearing the absolute minimal shin protection required either.

    Diego Costa is the ultimate bad guy, whilst Diego Godin put in a good super villain display too when asking the ref for a handball in the box on Lenglet when it was him who handled it, and him only! It was just one small refelection of a coach like Simeone’s mentality. They are honestly like a squad made up of prison inmates who have been let out on day release.

    So glad we did them playing football, and what a finish by Correa to get the 2nd goal. That will do his, and the rest of the guys’ confidence the world of good. Now we just have to do a professional job on them next week, play them at their own game if we have to.

    Same again for our next Liga match too, an early Saturday kick off away to Español - it will be tough, but with the same character and team spirit anything is possible.

  21. I like Kjaer as a footballer, but we were so much more solid without him tonight!

    Sergio Rico had a better game, although he still looks a little bit short of confidence with his handling and distribution.

  22. They were thugs before Simeone arrived but with him as trainer it could only get worse. The thing that changed was that the referees stopped being quite so quick with the yellow cards, they have a free pass to bite ankles and tackle from behind.

    It was Mercado who lost Costa for the Atletico goal.but otherwise he was perfect.

    Correa is my hope for this squad. If he plays well and others in the centre field then Sevilla play well.

    Partidazo by Sergio Escudero, Muriel showed some very high quality touches (but no goals).

    Ben Yedder, by definition, is our best player.

    Sarabia disappointing again.

    Montella has work to do, and I look forward to seeing some Italian thinking in our style.

  23. Mark_L says:

    Great win! A surprise but great boost for the team and fans. We are a great cup team and we proved it again tonight!

    Hopefully we can finish it off in 2nd leg. A win at atletico will hopefully give the team more belief!

  24. Brian says:

    That was more like the Sevilla that we want to see, need to see. With Passion, pride and fighting for the ball.
    Play like that and I’m not too upset even if we lose. I just hope we can keep it up, we looked a different team tonight from the start. Please Montello stick to this same line up with just the one exception.

    Ben Yedder. has to start instead of Muriel.

  25. Turns out it was done by another Atleti fan. Didn’t stop everyone from blaming the Biris though.

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