In an intense match, Sevilla FC and Athletic Bilbao drew 1-1. Sevilla took the lead on Sampaoli’s coaching debut with a lightning goal, but Vesga redeemed the visitors in the second half.
After a false start in the league and a defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, the Sevilla FC management pulled the ripcord last week and sacked Julen Lopetegui. The coach was replaced by Jorge Sampaoli, who wanted to initiate a turnaround on his debut.
Oliver with lightning start
The home side got off to the better start and were awake from the first minute. Bilbao were off their game in the early stages and conceded an early goal: after just four minutes Dolberg collected Montiel’s cross inside the box and the onrushing Oliver latched onto the ball and finished into the left-hand corner.
After the next good chance for Sevilla through Gomez (6th), the visitors regained their composure and were more solid defensively. The game flattened out and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that Bilbao had another chance worth mentioning: Berenguer’s finish fizzed just inches past the right post.
Bilbao too harmless
Minuain (26.) and Berenguer (34.) missed promising situations for the visitors before Sevilla became dangerous again in the 40th minute: After a mistake by Lekue, the home side put Gomez in a good position, but he failed to beat the rushing Unai Simon. So it went into the break with the 1:0.
In the second half, the game took place mainly between the sixteens, but there were few chances to score for a long time. Even though the visitors controlled the game more and more, Athletic could not really become dangerous.
Vesga sets the final point
Sevilla, on the other hand, was more passive than in the first 45 minutes, but kept creating finishing situations. The best chance was missed by Gomez, whose powerful attempt from 20 metres went just wide of the left post (70th). Finally, the visitors were rewarded: A cross from De Marcos could only be cleared by Gudelj at the feet of Vesga, who fired the ball from 20 metres into the bottom left corner with a full-stretch shot, giving Dmitrovic no chance (73).
Both teams had chances in the final phase, the best one was scored by Bilbao joker Garcia, whose shot went just over the crossbar after a nice combination (90th). In the end, neither team managed to score a winner, so the game ended 1-1.