Emery: Athletic tie still 50-50

Unai Emery insists Sevilla are not favourites to reach the Europa League semi-finals, despite Thursday’s 2-1 victory at Athletic Bilbao in the last eight.

Sevilla won their first away match of the season in European competition, courtesy of goals from Thimothee Kolodziejczak and Vicente Iborra, to leave them on the verge of the semi-finals for the third consecutive season.

Yet the Coach said after the first leg: “We played the 90 minutes in the knowledge that there were another 90, and there may be more.

“It’s a very even tie. Athletic are fighting and looking forward to the competition like us.

“It was a well-contested and competed game, but our satisfaction is moderate because the next 90 minutes will be very tough.

“[On either team’s chances of making the semis], it’s still 50 percent for both teams.

“I think Athletic have the ability to respond, but we also want to give continuity to our initial idea.

“[On Ever Banega’s ban], you’ll always have injuries or suspensions.

“All players are important. Ever won’t be [available in the return leg], but it opens the door for someone else and we’ll find a good replacement.

“There are details which can decide games, and against Athletic you must suffer and take advantage of your chances.

“They can change the score from the first minute at our stadium, so the result doesn’t say whether we’re favourites.”

Tags Unai Emery