Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui praised the reaction of his players following a winning return to La Liga action at home to Real Betis.
Lopetegui’s side restarted the 2019-20 La Liga season with a convincing 2-0 win over their fierce local rivals at an empty Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Lucas Ocampos’ penalty, and a second half header from Fernando, secured a vital three points, and the former La Roja boss was delighted with his squad’s long awaited return to action.
“I believe we deserved the victory tonight,” he told reporters from Marca at full time.
“The team has responded well to the challenge of returning to football.
“At the end, some of the players were struggling, and if we didn’t have the chance to make five substitutes we would’ve ended up with nine players on the pitch.”
La Liga have confirmed teams will be allowed to use a maximum of five changes per game, but only three at any one time.
Lopetegui took full advantage of the rule change, with skipper Ever Banega, Franco Vazquez, Sergio Escudero, Youssef En-Nesyri and Suso all making second half appearances for the hosts.
Sevilla now face a tough run of matches before the end of the 2019-20 season, with difficult games against Top Four rivals Barcelona, Valencia and Real Sociedad in the coming weeks.