Leganes away – Copa del Rey – Semi Final 1st Leg

Since 2006 Sevilla FC have participated in 5 Europa League (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016) and 6 Copa del Rey semi-finals (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016). A total of eleven semi-finals in twelve years. Tonight makes that 12 out of 12… an incredible achievement for any club in World Football, I am sure no one can deny.

However, there will be no time for congratulatory slaps on backs just yet. We have on paper a tie that we should win, especially over 2 legs, but the worst thing we could do is take Leganes for granted. Not only did they manage to knock out Real Madrid in the Quarter Finals, but they also knocked out Villareal in the round before! Cup games over 2 legs are designed to stop these kind of upsets, but Leganes have passed this obstacle with flying colours and deservedly belong in the semi-finals.

Not to mention their impressive league form, which sees them sitting 11th in the table, only 5 points worse off than we are. They have only lost 2 league games at home all season, one of those to Barcelona! All in all, hardly evidence of the massive gap in quality that some would believe! Sure, they were the preferred opponents when compared to Barcelona or Valencia, but they will no doubt create some problems for us, and we will need to be at the same level or higher as we were against Atletico if we want another Final to look forward to in Feria week.

Our last Copa del Rey semi-final was in 2016, when we destroyed an in-form Celta Vigo 6-2 on aggregate. A 4-0 first leg victory all but ensuring our place in the final before Celta even had a chance to play us at their home. A repeat performance tonight would be welcome, yet unlikely.

One striking thing that stands out though is how much our playing squad and management team have changed so much since then, and despite it being as little as 24 months ago only Sergio Rico, Escudero, Banega (who since left and returned), Nzonzi, Carrico and David Soria remain. There is no escaping the fact that we have had, and continue to have, an insane amount of player turnover. Quite how we can still keep competing at such a high level despite all these changes is truly astounding.

Squad list for tonight:


Some stability in terms of personnel at the club would be very welcome, but for now the revolving door continues, and we traveled to Madrid with exciting new arrivals Guilherme Arana, Layun, and Roque Mesa all in the squad. Whether or not any of them will start is uncertain. Corchia is still missing with injury, so Layun is a potential like-for-like swap there, although Navas may well keep his place. Carrico and Pareja are also back as defensive options. We have 4 centre backs to choose from, Kjaer not being one of them. I wonder if our coaching team have seen enough to know he won’t be featuring again soon?

As for the starting XI, I suspect that Montella won’t tinker much, as he has found a winning (Getafe match aside) formula, and if he keeps the same XI as the last Copa match I’ll be happy with that.

Over the past 12 years many coaches and players have come and gone, but our reputation as a ‘Cup team’ amazingly remains intact, and tonight we could take one big step towards our dream of another chance to lift the Copa!

Score prediction 2-2



Notable Replies

  1. ShendM says:

    I’m glad that Kjaer is not a starter. Hope that’s Montella’s decision and not because he’s not 100% fit or something.

    Kjaer is a good CB in overall but he is too soft at times when marking opponent strikers and leaves too much space. I saw Zaza’s goal against us the other day and couldn’t help but think what would the likes of Lukaku do in that case. Even if it means causing a penalty, do not let the opponents shoot in the goal from a close range. Our CB’s should be very aggressive and stay very close to the opponents having in mind who is between our sticks, the teenager Rico.

  2. I expect some rotation this game. Maybe Arana’s debut? Possibly a start by Pareja?

  3. I don’t think anything substantial has been improved since Berizzo except one or two variations in play and renewed enthusiasm both of which can disappear at the drop of a hat.

    The changes in personnel will do it though. Arana has been here a month without entering the squad but now we include him and two players who arrived in the last 48 hours.

    We’re also much better on the counter, to our advantage, and solid in Nervion so really we just have to keep the lid on this game and 2-2 would be OK.

    Is it just me, or is the sideways pass tendency of Nzonzi part of our problem of predictability?

    Can’t wait to see how Roque Mesa fits with Nzonzi though today it’s not likely.

    I’m not easy about big changes for a big game but I have to bear in mind that Sevilla won a supercopa against Madrid (3-5) with Archivaldo Mosquera and Federico Fazio playing their first games as the defensive duo. That was the dictionary definition of cojones.

    Let’s hope for those cojones tonight.

  4. I doubt we see any of the new guys unless they are used as subs. Arana is the only one i think we will see and I truly hope that we do.

  5. Brian says:

    Starting 11

    Sergio Rico; Jesús Navas, Mercado, Lenglet, Escudero; Nzonzi, Banega; Sarabia, Franco Vázquez, Correa; and Muriel.

  6. haha so much for rotation - wow

  7. Layún and Roque Mesa on the bench, also Nico Pareja.

  8. if it’s not broken don’t fix it, seems to be Montella’s motto :smiley:

  9. will anyone else be watching on a stream? and if so, any good ones to share?

    For some reason, despite showing every La Liga game, Sky Sports in the UK don’t show Copa del Rey (apart from the final)

  10. Must be a bad stream, no it’s cutting up quite badly.

  11. I’m watching on Sling tv here in the US

  12. Nope - everyone is out of town or like me stuck at work. Maybe next week.


    Muriel is Bacca Mk.II

  14. 0-1 goalzo Muriel

  15. That goal was ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous.

  16. Sevilla vastly superior in capability, but it might not be enough if they don’t stop the unforced silly errors, silly short corners, go backwards when they have the ball and players forward, fall down a bit more often when they in a dead end and challenged from behind and continue to operate like amateurs.

  17. Mark_L says:

    Vamos Sevilla! Nice goal and great 1st half!

  18. On the bright side Muriel could really take off scoring goals of that quality.

  19. As shaky as he also looks sometimes, it has to be Soria time.

  20. Hope admin don’t mind me posting this:
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  21. Brian says:

    Rico has some serious confidence issues, I don’t know what problems he has in his personal life but something has turned him from being on the periphery of the national team into a joke goal keeper.
    Montella has to rest him at least for the next few games and start Soria surely.

    Asumo el error de esta noche. Pido perdón al Sevilla FC y al sevillismo y sólo puedo decir que me voy a dejar la vida porque estemos en la final de la #CopaDelRey. pic.twitter.com/d4FeWz3WCS

    — Sergio Rico González (@sergiorico25) January 31, 2018
  22. Rico had a problem coming off his line during Berizzo era, now that seems to have been fixed he is making mistake after mistake, and I was surprised that we didn’t go in for Pau Lopez also, Soria still not so sure of personally, he lacks something too

  23. Brian says:

    I have a motorised satellite dish and have been watching everything for free for over 20 yrs by one means or another: :shushing_face:

  24. When I was watching the highlight, besides wowed by Muriel, i am wondering would it be Rico for Leganes tie goal :thinking:
    And Rico doesn’t “disappoint”…

  25. Rico should obviously have done better, but they showed a zoomed in slo-mo replay and it looked like it was a foul with the Leganes player putting his arm up and into Rico’s arm. If so then we got hosed in the last few minutes twice on similar plays after Espanyol and last night.

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