Quite apart from being the first game of a new season, the match was remarkable for the presence of an old face in Sevilla’s case. At half-time, 34-year-old holding midfielder Fernando came on for his first appearance in four months. Suffering from an ankle problem, he was forced to sit out the final three months of the season.
“We are happy, because the team was good and had intensity in spite of just being the first week of work and the first game. I am also very happy, returning after four months.”
Speaking to his physical state, Fernando seemed fully recovered.
“I didn’t expect to feel so good coming on, I didn’t feel any pain and I was able to put in 45 very good minutes, all feeling at my best. Doing so with the [captain’s] armband in addition is a joy.”
His presence could be the difference between Sevilla fighting for top four next season and top three. The Brazilian was a lynchpin for Los Nervionenses last season and their fall away in the second half of it coincided with his absence too.