Marching Forward: Sevilla v Bilbao

With the top of the table still within reaching distance, every game is huge.  Dreams are alive and well even while we remain only distant dark horse contenders.  But Real let two points drop against Javi Varas yesterday and today is a chance to climb ever closer.

Bilbao is a team that always makes me nervous.  Their organized, tough, play with passion, and typically have a lot of talent.  By their standards, their season has been… meh.  Their form away from home hasn’t been great, and supposedly they are missing some key players.  But that doesn’t truthfully make me fear them any less.  They’ll be dangerous and this will be a battle, particularly because we are missing a number of our own players.  Perhaps all four of Vitolo, Sarabia, Pareja, and N’Zonzi can be considered first choice starters at this point.  So other guys are going to need to step up bigtime.

Not much more to add, but exciting times.  Lets hope we can go out there and get the result we’re looking for.  Any less than three points will be a huge disappointment.

Comments 59

  1. Vamos Sevilla! Glad ganso and Montoya in squad. We need all the squad depth we can get!

    I am nervous about tonight but we can do it! Go Sevilla!! 🙂

  2. The cliche statement, but a reality in this case. Every match from now on is a final in itself for Sevilla. Every 3 points are golden!

    Let’s seriously challenge for the title by winning tonight.


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    Sergio Rico;
    Mariano, Rami, Mercado, Escudero;
    Iborra, Kranevitter;
    Correa, Nasri, Jovetic;

    Not particularly happy with this lineup… But also, we had limitted options.

    1. That’s a really uninspiring front 6. Creativity is almost exclusively on Nasri, and Jovetic to a lesser extent.

    2. Wow…. why Kranevitter in the midfield and why Vietto starting instead of WBY?

      Pathetic lineup… hopefully we don’t lose points tonight, though highly doubt it now.

  4. I actually thought that Atletico would win la liga this season because I could see that Real Madrid and Barcelona didn’t renew their squads well, and I was right but what I didn’t expect was that Atletico wouldn’t be able to integrate Gameiro into their system, that Carrasco would be dead average (he was twice the player last season) and that Juanfran would fall off the scale. To make things worse, Simeone gave up on the league, insinuating that it was impossible to win la liga or la copa because of the refereeing being corruptly in favour of Real Madrid and Barca.

    So now we have Sevilla up there and alongside the two corrupt cheaters and I’m sure that Sampaoli isn’t going to give up like Simeone, to be fair, atletico made clear before the season that the would concentrate their efforts on the Champions League.

    But what a situation we have, i wish our next two away games were Madrid and Barca because they’re both shakey. But we’ll have to wait till the penultimate game for the showdown in th Bernabeu.

    Still, it keeps the season interesting.

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    what the fuck? bein is showing the atleti game on both its channels? that’s enfuriating.

  6. Incredible combination play and passing by Nasri and Iborra. Two clear chances stopped.

  7. GRANDE CAPITAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Vietto did well to draw the pen. Jovetic’s pen is stopped, but once again, the captain bails our ass out.

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    holy crap… can’t watch but apparently jovetic had his shot saved and capitan iborra stepped up and burried the rebound?!?!?

  9. why can’t score a penalty this season??? Iborra has been the most crucial player this year.

  10. This is pretty much the first time we’ve played a 4-3-3 since the very beginning of the season. Midfield’s been solid, but there were some gaps toward the end of the half. Defense has done really well.

  11. Very happy with that! 1-0 lead I’ll take it so far. I said I was worried as we light on a few players but we started great and scored when on top! Iborra is our star man and comes to the rescue again. However, we really need to find a penalty taker ASAP. It’s so frustrating, why not let Iborra take them? He scored against celta away and he is a bit of a winner in them situations and one of our key players right now.

    We controlled the tempo early but in 2nd part of 1st half we were under pressure. Bilbao played quite well and we had to defend well to keep them out. Thankfully we have and still have this precious 1-0 lead. We need to see this out, stay alert and try get a 2nd when we can.

    If we can sneak out of this with 3 points and then we will have all our players back we will be in great shape in title race and for the next game at alaves. Massive 45 minutes coming up. Got to keep our focus and heads.

    Vamos Sevilla!! 🙂

  12. Some things never change.

    1) Kranevitter still extremely terrible. His bad positioning, late tackles even though tackling is a mysterious phenomenon for him, his lack of tracking (huge gaps in the middle), his chicken-spirit etc. are only getting worse.

    2) Correa… still extremely selfish… why can’t you just pass the ball for once? Learn from your compatriot Vietto… he disappears for 44 minutes but makes a good pass or a long one once in a while. If it wasn’t for his selfishness, we would’ve been at least 2-0 up.

    3) Terrible back-passing… without Pareja, the back passing reminds one of a Tercera team… the players are very uncomfortable playing in the back, and that’s where the success of teams like Barca comes. We don’t have the players Emery has in PSG to play with fast counters and try to score from 60 meters. The vision is clear, build-up play from the back and from there progress to an attacking threat.

    4) Last but not least… penalties. 3 penalties missed in a row… surely this happens to other teams as well… but to serious teams? I highly doubt it. Now Jojo adds to the list of the penalty takers, and until now, we’ve had approx 7-8 takers… only WBY and Sarabia never missed. At this point I wonder if the team even exercise penalties in the training. Very very weird…. we better get this penalty-phobia fixed before we get embarrassed in an eventual shootout in CL.

    We’ve been very lucky to go 1 up… Iborra somehow always scores, hats off to the brave captain. He’s giving 100% always and by far the best player on the pitch along with Jojo and Nasri to some extent. The defense didn’t do bad, but still, the passing throws everything off.

    WBY needs to get on… maybe Mudo along with him or a bit after, and why not, let’s see some Montoya tonight by the end of the match.

    We can get 3 points from here, just need to be careful as Bilbao took the upper hand after we scored. They are a huge threat if not taken seriously.

  13. Fuck off, that was a clear penalty on Montoya. This ref has been awful the last 15 minutes

  14. Despite facing 12 men in the last 15 minutes, we get the 3 points. Fantastic defensive performance from the back 6 and Rico, minus Mariano who had a shaky match and couldn’t hit a cross to save his life. The ref screwed up 3 goal kick/corner calls toward the end, 2 in Bilbao’s favor and one in ours. But the dude absolutely refused to give us a foul, including an absolute no doubter penalty when Montoya was tripped in the box.

  15. Over the moon to get the 3 points tonight! We didn’t play well overall and athletic did play decent and we were fortunate not to concede. We limped over the line but we did it!

    Credit to our defence for staying strong. I knew it would be difficult as we were missing 4 key starters but they back now. Shame we lose nasri though as he got 5 yellows now.

    The team and fans also felt pressure to close in on Barca and Real but we got over the line and we know how to win ugly did it last week and did it tonight! 4 straight wins in a row and taken 28 points from last 33. It’s our best start ever to a season and we are well and truly in the title race. Exciting times for us!

      1. Rather lose him against Alaves then away at one of the big 3. He was gonna end getting it anyway.

  16. 3 important points, not bad. This is probably the first time that we get dominated possession-wise in RSP (beside the match vs. Barca), and Bilbao were quite dangerous up front, but the defense was solid.

    The referee turned retard in the second half (not wanting to say the obvious that Uncle Flo sent him a fat check at the break, because then Rene calls me a conspiracy theorist :P).

    Anyway, the team showed some fighting spirit in overall… and when you see Nasri tracking back, that’s how you grind out wins like these tonight.

    Pity that we couldn’t see more from Montoya tonight. My initial impression, he’s lightning fast and is a fighter. If he turns out to be a better version of Kiyotake, that’s more than enough. He can grow to be an important player at the club.

    9 points clear of 4th…. catch us if you can Atleti!

  17. I actually thought Krane had a good game today. Thoughts? Who was the MOTM? Iborra? Rico? What did you think about Montoya? I thought he was super active and all over the pitch for his 20 minutes or so.

    1. Krane solidified in the second half, but was terrible in the first. For only 20 minutes of what he showed tonight, I’d give Montoya a start any day instead of Krane. For me MOTM Iborra definitely. Rock solid in defense and crucial with that goal, or else we could’ve had a similar scenario to Villarreal (goalless draw with a missed penalty).

    2. Kranevitter played well outside of the last 10 minutes of the first half. He’s really tidy on the ball and made a few huge tackles. MOTM probably goes to Iborra, but Escudero was excellent and both CBs played great today.

      Hard to say too much about Montoya other than he looks like a really good athlete. He looks kind of like Arturo Vidal when he’s running around. If he’s half the player Vidal is, he’ll fit in well.

      1. Watched the highlights just to know who made that late tackle in the first half, and it was Escudero, so no tackles from Kranevitter, not sure how you’ve seen those few huge tackles? Truth is, he’s not a bit better of what we have at Sevilla Atletico in Segunda.

      2. The one that stands out most in my mind was in the first half. We turned the ball over in their half and they hit a ball into the right channel. Escudero was caught up field, and Kranevitter ran step for step with Lekue(?) before shouldering him off the ball and winning possession. Lekue flopped to the ground when Kranevitter muscled him off, but the assistant ref told him to get up. We were caught out, and he did a good job of covering space and winning the ball without fouling.

      3. Thanks. Will try to get a link of full match and watch it again. He definitely was more solid in the second half, but I would go with Montoya as DM/CM from this point on.

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  18. Greetings to all..i didnt have time to write down.In my last post i wrote:will speak again after 3 games,addresing to those who still didnt believe that we are already in next year’s C.L.So it’s 4 games now, played,10 points from spot5,9 from spot3,and…2 from spot1.I also wrote that la Liga is open until last day this year,and we are in it.We are,oh yes we are.Sampaoli is so crazy for winning,even the stands knows it.There is a big difference between us and the 2 upon us.We are fighting for it.They HAVE to win it.We dont.We are better team.They have the stars.WE have the best coach.They have..nothing instead.For those who say that we have all the big matches outside,it’s true, but who said we have to win them?If we dont loose,we are at same points,all,so it’s the other matches we have to win.Also i m not afraid anymore playing in Madrid or Barcelona away.People here in Greece,who are supporters of Real M and Barcelona nad Atleti,addmit that we have the best team.TEAM.Not ever the best gets it,but,after 10 years,maybe its our turn.Give positive energy brothers,we have only finals now,whatever the squad is,we are TEAM.
    And please dont play the games of journalists e.t.c with Sampaoli’s name.You thing is coincidence that is happening now,all this circus..with Barca?Stay focused on the goal,maybe it will be a surprise so big from Greece to …Chile.

    1. If Betis won’t do us a favor tonight, we are only 7 points from 4th (Sociedad). Anyway, we are on a great path towards achieving the 3rd place, which would be huge.

      The Sampaoli rumors can only hurt the club. Messi wants him, Barca wants him, their fans do… so it’s more or less only Samapoli’s final word in the summer, and I have no doubt that his mind is already calculating stuff and if he really made his mind to join Barca, then he’s most likely already thinking on how to reinforce them in order to dominate with them.

      On the other hand, not sure if our management is prepared to find a decent replacement or experiment with Lillo. Hopefully it will not be a tough transition, but after all these years, we as fans of Sevilla are always in stress when summer comes, and the management always with a fork on the road, with their decision impacting the future of the club. So far, we got away with it nicely, but now once and for all a serious project comes along, the hyenas at Barca want to destroy the project…. they definitely don’t want another force like Atletico and if we don’t keep the core along with the philosophy over the summer… we will be making big steps backwards and will get totally dismantled as a team, back at the beginning, then experimenting again etc.

      This is the right path for us so far, and any deviation would harm us. Hopefully the management will be wiser this time and not let things slip out of their hands, intentionally!

      1. Only 7 points?(and it’s 8 points,unless you also believe that we ll loose 1-6 from Real Sociedad).What team do you think they are?Barcelona of 2008?Ajax of 70’s?Milan of 90’s?Have you seen Real Sociedad program?They follow our program,and we have them in R.S.P.What else you need to see from our team to have faith,at least for spot4.?
        As for Sampaoli,dont be so sure about what you hear and read.He said today,he is dying for our plan,its your problem you dont believe him,not his…

      2. I don’t know man. I’m all for miracles, because they do happen, and we might even challenge for the title until the last minute, but, whether we like it or not, the 3rd is still not secured. A long way to go until the end!

  19. Valverde goes to favourite on the odds for Barca job. Sampaoli has drifted out a bit. I think we might get to keep him, which would be massive for us! 🙂

  20. Samps is very committed to us. There has been talk of extending his contract. This is his 1st season and I think the club will want to build under him. He’s the perfect fit for us.

    However, he’s not overall what Barca will want. Even though he knows Messi and neymar. Valverde fits the bill better for them and he out of contract in summer. Samps still has another year and talks of extension. I might be wrong but I pretty hopeful he will remain with us! 🙂

  21. 2-3 to Real Sociedad puts betis back in la mierda where they belong. You make a good point that barca will be keen to sabotage el Sevilla, I’m clinging to the idea that Sampaoli has a strong reputation for honouring his contracts when superior offers are on the table.

    On another theme i notice that Iborra is undervalued at transfermkt.uk only €9m, we paid €7m. While Vitolo (we paid€3m) is valued at €20m.

    Vitolo has scored 4, Iborra 7.

    What chance that Iborra features in the next selection of Lopetegi

    1. I’d really wish to see Iborra get at least 1 call up for the Spain NT… the guy plays with his heart and even though he’s not the most gifted, he can score from out of nowhere and puts hard work in the defensive part. It’d be great to see him get called up for the Euro 2018 squad, but that is far far away from reality with all the other midfielders that are available for Spain NT.

  22. Can’t believe this is the Eibar we played at home…. they’re not even putting up an effort vs. RM. An easy win for the white bastards.

  23. Frustrating as I thought they might drop points with their depleted squad but no way! Should never even believed it could happen.

    We just got to focus on ourselves we know it will be tough to overhaul Real and Barca with some teams rolling over and the refs helping them and their quality. We just have to keep winning ourselves, all we can do!

  24. Leicester back on form. Not that they are playing anything special, but their confidence increased and even though they are facing disastrous teams, they came back to scoring out of nowhere and that’s worrying. As things stand, taking the foot off the pedal in the first leg would eventually backfire and hit us in the return.

  25. They playing better but they will get a shock when they have to face our quality. They picked up but hull and Liverpool are nowhere near our quality from our 1st team. It won’t be easy but I still back us to win there when it matters.

    If we play like we did in 1st leg but don’t drop off like we did at end of 2nd half we will go through! 🙂

    1. Yeah… we’re obvious favorites, but it will all be down to tactics. If it will be gutless and conservative, we might get shocked instead. We need to play naturally and beat them toe to toe, not count on their bad luck, as with stupid confidence comes luck sometimes, so they might sneak a goal or two out of nowhere if we don’t pay attention.

      Anyway, with Pareja and Mercado back the defense will be rock solid, and if we dominate the possession, I can’t see them scoring more than 1-2, and we will definitely score at least one, so it will even out at the end and we go through…. fingers crossed though!

  26. I think the Spanish selection lack variety in midfield, plenty of small, gifted ball players like Silva, but apart from Busquets who gets forward, nobody of the stature of Iborra. Esqudero also deserves to be in the squad, certainly ahead of Monreal.

  27. I agree ShendM. We need to get our approach and tactics right! If we do and approach the match in right mentality we will be fine.

    Both Barca and Real Madrid win big today. Barca I must say are in awesome form again now, they not lost in league for ages and handed out a few hammerings. They playing better than real Madrid right now overall. I think announcing luis Enrique going has actually helped their mentality and harmony in squad. I still don’t give them much chance of turning around the PSG tie though

    We need to keeep going and try keep the 3 horse race alive. We know how difficult it is to keep pace with the big 2 but I have faith we can.

    Despite everything we unbelievably have a chance to finally hit top spot for overnight. If we can win at alaves on Monday night and then beat leganes in the 3:15 sat game, we would go top of the table overnight. Albeit Barca and Real Madrid would have games in hand the next day. However, the opportunity is there to make headlines but it won’t be easy. The aim is still securing champions league qualification and try tie up 3rd spot and then keep pushing the top 2.

    I don’t think we will win it as I’m aware what we up against but I not ruling us out. I believe we can stay in the title race till end of season. The big test against Leicester as is coming up too so the crucial stage of our season is upcoming. We are desperate to make a name for ourselves in europes elite competition and finally break the last 16 hoodoo. If we reach last 8 will be a huge success and who knows we could make semi or final! This is the huge test to see if this club are ready to make next big jump. I think we can but we need to be right at it from the off as Leicester are rejuvenated and playing better again.

  28. We need to keep it very tight for the 1st 15-20 mins against Leicester because they will come at us with all guns blazing with the crowd behind them hoping for the early goal. If we can weather this we should be able to settle down and play our normal passing game frustrating them into mistakes chasing the ball. The longer it stays 0-0 The more chances we will get to score the one goal I think we will need to go through.

  29. I’d take a 0-0 to be honest, but that will be too risky until the end. We need to approach the game in an attacking and possession keeping mentality, so that we aim to score 1-2, more or less like the first leg, without giving them much hope for the counter, so play it safe.

    However, if we approach it in a very conservative way like vs. Juve or Lyon away, we might get shocked. They are a worse, but way more opportunistic team than Lyon, so we need to be very careful. If anything will eliminate us in the return leg, it will only be the shit tactics and approach in the first one, where we should’ve initially killed the game off and make it a worthless one for the return. Now they have a momentum, which is always dangerous, not only for pathetic teams like Leicester, but even a Formentera in momentum can cause trouble if Sevilla is on a bad night…. so not really sure, but this is potential history in the making, thus if we give anything less than 100% it could surprise us for the bad.

  30. Full strength squad list except nasri! I’m confident we will win this! Alaves have done decent but we have the better players and stronger squad at this stage of season. Our away form has been strong this s asin and as long as we avoid any daft mistakes then we should clock up another 3 points to maintain the gap ahead of 4th and keep pressure on Barca and R Madrid!