Sevilla took control of their Champions League destiny with a 2-1 win against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday.
Sevilla were thrashed 5-1 the last time they faced Spartak, but goals from Clement Lenglet and Ever Banega either side of half-time made amends for that result, despite Ze Luis pulling one back for the Russians in the latter stages.
More importantly, however, it left the Andalusians second in Group E with only two games remaining, while their performance was hailed as the ‘best’ yet by Coach Eduardo Berizzo.
“Football is made up of moments and situations that test your character,” he said after the game.
“We’ve passed those tests with personality, but it’s also necessary that we keep our guard up. The match needed to be decided early, and we were very good for 70-75 minutes.
“We deserved to finish with a 3-0 scoreline, but we played with dynamism and pressing, as well as security at the back, and that’s what you want as a Coach.
“For the quality of our opponents and the competition, it was the best Sevilla that I’ve seen in my time here.
“We have two games left, against Liverpool and Maribor, and we need one more victory. This win puts us where we want to be in the group, and now we’re relying on ourselves.”
Sevilla can confirm their place in the knockout stages if they beat Liverpool and Spartak lose to Maribor in two weeks’ time.
Sevilla 2-1 Spartak Moscow
Lenglet 30, Banega 69 (S) Ze Luis 78 (SM)
Sevilla: Sergio Rico; Mercado (Corchia 83), Kjaer, Lenglet, Escudero; N’Zonzi, Pizarro; Sarabia (Jesus Navas 74), Banega (Krohn-Dehli 77), Nolito; Ben Yedder
Spartak Moscow: Selikhov; Eshchenko (Petkovic 79), Tasci, Dzhikiya, Kombarov; Fernando, Pasalic (Popov 57); Melgarejo (Ze Luis 72), Glushakov, Promes; Luiz Adriano
Referee: Soares Dias (POR)