Sevilla welcomed Villarreal to the Sanchez-Pizjuan today in what was an intriguing clash between two of La Liga‘s strongest sides. It’s safe to say, however, that Sevilla are delivering on their potential much more convincingly than Villarreal right now. Sevilla won the tie 1-0 to go second in the table – Villarreal are currently languishing down in 12th.
Sevilla lost 2-1 to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last Sunday, while Villarreal conceded twice late on to lose 3-1 to Barcelona at La Ceramica the night before. Both sides went into the game keen to return to winning ways, although both did beat lower-league opposition in the Copa del Rey first round midweek.
Lucas Ocampos heads Sevilla in front! 🔥
Lopetegui's side's pressing forced an error and they were ruthless in punishing Villarreal 👏 pic.twitter.com/201eLEFvw3
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) December 4, 2021
The decisive goal came in the 15th minute. Marcos Acuna, quickly becoming one of the best left-backs in La Liga, delivered a delicious cross to find his fellow Argentine Lucas Ocampos at the back post. He scored from a smart header, although it did take a slight deflection off Pau Torres before beating Geronimo Rulli.
🚨 ¡𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟 en Nervión! ⏹️
Estos tres puntos de oro se quedan en casa.
¡Vamos, 𝗦𝗘𝗩𝗜𝗟𝗟𝗔! ⚪️🔴#WeareSevilla #NuncaTeRindas #SevillaFCVillarreal pic.twitter.com/bpkOtqEKnF
— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) December 4, 2021
“We earned three important points,” Julen Lopetegui said post-match as carried by Marca. “We pressed them tight in the first half, with lots of wear and tear. They had chances but we were able to score. In the second half they took control, and despite our fatigue we managed to compete and allow only one chance.”
Sevilla face Salzburg in the Champions League this coming midweek with a place in the last 16 at stake. “We have a real final on our hands, now, in a complicated scenario against a complicated rival,” Lopetegui said. “We have to rebuild, see what troops we have available and prepare well.”