Sevilla took control of their Champions League playoff against Istanbul Basaksehir, winning 2-1 in Turkey on Wednesday.
Several, familiar names were in Basaksehir’s starting XI, among them former Juventus winger Eljero Elia, ex-Atletico Madrid midfielder Emre Belozoglu and one-time Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor, plus Manchester City old boy Gael Clichy.
Sevilla, meanwhile, were coached for the first time competitively by Eduardo Berizzo, who handed official debuts to midfielders Guido Pizarro and the returning Ever Banega. Nolito, Jesus Navas, Simon Kjaer, Sebastien Corchia and record signing Luis Muriel, meanwhile, were named substitutes.
Basaksehir emerged from relative obscurity last season to finish runners-up in the Turkish Super Lig last season, and they spurned a great chance just two minutes in as an unmarked Marcio Mossoro couldn’t hit the target from a few yards out after he was played in by Elia.
As a storm was raging over the Fatih Terim Stadium, Sergio Escudero angled a low strike from the left across Volkan Babacan and into the goalkeeper’s bottom-right corner for the opening goal.
The Istanbul side had never qualified for the group stage of a European competition previously, with it being their first Champions League campaign.
The gulf in class showed as Volkan was forced to tip Ban the strike around hits left-hand post, before Wissam Ben Yedder failed to turn home Walter Montoya’s cutback in the six-yard box. Joaquin Correa then had a daisy-cutter is batted away by the goalkeeper.
However, the hosts looked revitalised for the second half, Sergio Rico flailing and beaten when Emre’s free kick was whipped towards the Sevlla goal, although it was a fraction too high.
Basaksehir’s most threatening player was Edin Visca, despite the Bosnian having been substituted on the hour mark. He took down Adebayor’s flick-on and fired straight at Rico, who was glued to his near post.
Yet Rico wasn’t so dependable a matter of minutes later, when Elia – with a burst of pace down the right – cannoned a shot on target, which squirmed through the custodian’s gloves and into the back of the net.
However, Jesus Navas’ first touch since appearing off the bench was a drilled cross for Ben Yedder, who flicked the ball past Volkan.
Rico then redeemed himself for his earlier blunder, tipping over Stefano Napoleoni’s powerful header from close range in the latter stages.
Istanbul Basaksehir 1-2 Sevilla
Elia 64 (IB) Escudero 16, Ben Yedder 84 (S)
Istanbul Basaksehir: Volkan; Caicara, Attamah, Epureanu, Clichy; Mossoro (Napoleoni 82), Mahmut, Emre (Inler 83); Visca (Frei 63), Adebayor, Elia
Sevilla: Rico; Mercado, Pareja, Lenglet, Escudero; N'Zonzi, Pizarro; Montoya (Nolito 63), Banega, Correa (Navas 83); Ben Yedder (Krohn-Dehli 86)
Referee: Turpin (FRA)