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UEFA Europa League
April 24, 2014
• Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 33496
S. M'Bia 33'
C. Bacca 36'
Full time in Andalusia! Sevilla look favourites to progress to the Europa League final as they come out 2-0 winners over Valencia at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Stephan Mbia and Carlos Bacca netted the vital first leg goals in the first period and Unai Emery's men survived a late rally from Valencia to take a two-goal lead into the second leg next week. Further damage to Los Che's cause came in the latter stages when Paco Alcacer was booked for a nothing challenge on Beto, meaning he will now miss the second leg. I'm Martin Macdonald, thanks for joining us, see you at the Mestalla next week!
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Jérémy Mathieu
90' + 1'
Three minutes of added time remaining. Can Valencia grab that elusive away goal or will Sevilla hold on to take a two-goal advantage to the Mestalla?!
Yellow Card Paco Alcácer
Beto takes the sting right out of the game as he goes down far too easily under the challenge of Alcacer and gets the Valencia striker booked. The 20-year-old is now OUT of the second leg next week! What a blow for Los Che!
VALENCIA HIT THE BAR! HOW HAVE THEY NOT GRABBED A GOAL BACK?! Edu Vargas is the latest guilty party as he drifts in at the back post and diverts a header towards goal, but his attempt cannons off the crossbar!
JONAS SHOULD SCORE!!! The ball breaks to the Brazilian seven yards out but he smashes a shot straight at Beto, who makes a stunning point-blank save keep the score at 2-0!!!
The delivery from Parejo is well dealt with by the Sevilla defence, but Valencia retain possession well and peg the hosts back once again. They're going all out to claw back an all-important away goal here.
Joao Pereira gets into an advanced position down the right wing and cleverly shifts inside but is then taken out by the trailing leg of Vitolo. Valencia with the opportunity to get some quality into the box here.
Sevilla have just started to show signs that they'd be willing to settle for the 2-0 lead going into the second leg here as they move deeper and deeper into their own box. Valencia move forward to face two banks of four, with only Rakitic and Gameiro in attacking areas for the hosts.
Piattiiiii! That's not too far away! The Argentine picks up the ball around 40 yards from goal and takes a couple of strides forward before drilling a strike towards the top corner, but the execution just lacked a little control and Beto ends up seeing the attempt wide.
That's a real penalty shout for Sevilla! A long ball is floated up top and Vitolo cushions the ball into the path of Gameiro who hits a stinging volley towards goal that is blocked. It looked to come off the hand of Javi Fuego but the referee only awards a corner kick!
Parejo finds himself in a bit of a sticky situation as he finds himself facing his own goal struggling to control the ball, but he's bailed out by Marin who comes in with a daft challenge to commit the foul.
Juan Antonio Pizzi is going for it here and is introducing a striker for a midfielder. Feghouli is withdrawn and his replacement is the Brazilian attacker, Jonas, who'll move up top alongside Alcacer.
Yellow Card Marko Marin
Bacca is the latest player to be substituted and he'll be replaced by Kevin Gameiro. The Colombian scored his 21st goal of the season tonight, and as put in an excellent shift as the loan striker. It's no wonder some of Europe's top club's have been keeping an eye.
Just under 20 minutes remaining here in this first leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Sevilla will feel pretty confident going into the second leg at the Mestalla with a two-goal lead, but an away goal for Valencia here changes the whole dimension of the tie.
Valencia just with their tails up slightly here. Feghouli collects possession on the edge of the box and slides a pass down the left for the oncoming Gaya, but his cross into the box is intercepted by the well-positioned Pareja.
VALENCIA ALMOST CLAW ONE BACK! A horrible clearance from Sevilla falls to the feet of Vargas and the Chilean looks to bend a strike into the far corner. It's a terrific attempt, but it just goes inches, INCHES wide of the right-hand post! Sevilla let off the hook!
Rakitic and Sevilla counterattack once again with pace through the middle and this time the Croatian slides the ball down the right channel for Marin, but the German fires a deflected shot over the bar. Corner kick to the hosts; Fazio will fancy this one!
Unlucky from Alcacer. The 20-year-old shows some predatory instinct at the front post and looks to get beyond his defender. He does so, but because he meets the ball beyond the front post the shot just can't be turned towards goal.
Unai Emery follows suit and makes the first Sevilla substitution, and it's been a regular change on the hour mark in the Europa League this season. Jose Antonio Reyes comes off to an ovation from the crowd and he'll be replaced by on-loan Chelsea winger, Marko Marin.
Juan Antonio Pizzi makes his second change of the match as the ineffectual Cartabia comes off to be replaced by the pacey Pablo Piatti, who'll be deployed down that left-hand side.
Federico Nicolás Cartabia
Saaaaaaaaave by Guaita!!! Rakitic counterattacks through the middle and threads an absolutely wonderful pass through the middle for Bacca, but the Colombian is once again denied by the Valencia 'keeper, who makes a brilliant save to palm the strike away!
FAZIO AGAIN! How has he not got on the scoresheet tonight?! He outjumps everyone inside the box once again but this time his header is straight down the throat of Guaita!
Mathieu!!! Not too far away! The Frenchman steps up and looks to whips the ball up and over the six-man Sevilla wall, but the free kick just doesn't bend it time to get on target and ends up whistling by the post.
Valencia get the opportunity to get a decent ball into the box here as Fazio goes right through the back of Feghouli in an aerial challenge with the Algerian. Could be close enough for a shot on goal here!
Almost a horrible pass from Diogo! The Sevilla right-back plays a blind pass back to Fazio and Alcacer almost snatches the ball in the final third, but Sevilla just manage to clear the ball up the park.
A change to report for you at half time as Bernat comes off to be replaced by Jose Gaya, who's normally a midfielder but who looks to be slotting in at left-back in place of his predecessor.
We are back under way in Andalusia!
Half time in Andalusia. Valencia made a decent start to proceedings but now find themselves with plenty of work to do to save this leg, and possibly the tie, as they trail Sevilla 2-0 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Mbia and Bacca on target for the hosts so far, who could have had another one or two goals. An intriguing second period awaits!
Fazioooooo! Great save by Guaita! The ball is clipped into the box and the Argentine jumps up totally unmarked before powering a header towards the bottom corner, but the Valencia 'keeper is on his toes and manages to beat the attempt away!
Mbia powers through the middle with authority and slides the ball right to Rakitic, but the former Schalke man is taken out unceremoniously by Bernat, who's certainly running the risk of a card here. That's two or three challenges that have gone unpunished!
The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan crowd are certainly in full voice now! They were pretty reserved for a 10-minute period in the match when Valencia were probing for the opening goal, but they've found their singing voices now!
Rakitic collects the ball just on the halfway line and attempts a spectacularly ambitious pass over the top of the defence for Bacca, but the Croatian just put too much behind it, and Guaita comes dashing off his line to pluck out of the air.
Goal Carlos Bacca
GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR SEVILLAAA!! THE HOSTS DOUBLE THEIR LEAD!! Vitolo drifts in from the left wing and plays the ball to the feet of Bacca, who takes a wonderful touch beyond the Valencia defence before lashing a strike into the bottom left corner! 2-0!
Rakitic, who has been superb so far in his position just behind the striker, sends a fabulous pass down the left-hand side for Vitolo, but Mathieu shows good pace and recovers well to get back and ease the ball back to Guaita.
Assist Daniel Carriço
Goal Stéphane M'Bia
GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL FOR SEVILLAAAAA!!! Carrico swings in a teasing delivery to the back post and Mbia initially messes up his attempt, but shows fantastic improvisation to backheel the ball into the corner! 1-0, but a definite shade of offside!
Vitolo cleverly shifts the ball on to his right foot on the left flank, but as he does so he is just pulled back by Feghouli, who ends up conceding a free kick in a really dangerous position. Let's see what Sevilla can make of this.
BACCA! He should have did much better with that! The Colombian breaks the Sevilla offside trap and darts towards goal, but ends up horribly dragging his shot wide of the left-hand post! Valencia let off the hook!
Fazioooo! Just wide! The big central defender, who is always a danger at set-pieces, rises high inside the box to glance a header towards goal from a corner, but his attempt goes a yard or two by the post! A good opportunity wasted there!
Sevilla looking dangerous here as they move their way up the pitch with four or five players committed in attacking positions. Rakitic collects on the left wing and looks to drill a cross into the middle, but the visitors put the ball behind for a corner. The home crowd give a cheer of expectation!
It's been an excellent opening to proceedings here in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Semi-finals are usually cagey by nature, but it looks like Valencia and Sevilla haven't read the script; both are eager to grab a goal in this first leg!
Valencia are knocking the ball around with confidence here. Keita, in particular, has established his dominance early on and looks to be running things from central areas. The former Barca midfielder has proved himself to be a very shrewd signing by Pizzi.
A potential Sevilla counterattack is swiftly stopped as Reyes' pass through to Bacca is intercepted by Parejo. The former Arsenal man wants a booking for a handball, but the referee waves play on, and rightfully so.
SAVEEEEE FROM BETO! Valencia counterattack at tremendous pace through the middle and the balls ends up with Alcacer, who drives a superb strike at goal from the edge of the box, but the Sevilla keeper gets across goal to beat the attempt wide! Los Che almost make the breakthrough!
Ohhh that's a real sore one for Pareja! The Sevilla defender's bravery proves to be ill-advised at this point as he goes in to block a Vargas volley with his head at knee height. He ends up blow to the temple, but thankfully he looks as if he'll be okay. The attempt was certainly goal-bound!
Reyes pops up in a very useful position between the Sevilla defence and midfield and looks to lift a delicate pass over the top for Rakitic, but there was just too much on the ball which allowed Guaita to come out and claim.
Bernat is a lucky, lucky lad here! The left-back is initially robbed of the ball by Rakitic and, in his attempts to win the ball back for Valencia, cynically pulls back the Croatian. The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan crowd are demanding a booking be issued, but the referee keeps his cards in his pocket on this occasion.
Cartabia breaks away into a good position down the right-hand side, but, despite having time to pick out a team-mate, sends his cross straight into the arms of the grateful Beto. Alcacer was standing free, but he wasn't found!
That's some pretty dodgy defending by Fazio! The Argentine looks to walk his way out of defence but is almost dispossessed by Parejo. In the end he gets let off the hook as the Valencia man is penalised for the challenge.
Rakitic and Parejo just get involved in a small scuffle in the middle of the park. Two of the most creatively gifted players clash out of nothing, but it doesn't look like the referee is going to go into his book to punish them this early on.
Some decent early pressure from Valencia hear as Sevilla are pushed back in the opening stages. Unai Emery's men out of the blocks quickly!
We are under way in Andalusia!
Sevilla have already eliminated Spanish opponents in a European tie this season, getting the better of arch rivals Real Betis on penalties in the round of 16.
Valencia are without Diego Alves and Victor Ruiz, but will be looking to their star striker, Paco Alcacer, for inspiration. The 20-year-old netted a terrific hat-trick in the previous round, which ultimately inspired Los Che to the final four of the competition.
There has been some re-shuffling required from Unai Emery in regards to his full-back positions tonight. Coke is suspended and Alberto Moreno is suffering from injury, which will see Diogo and David Navarro filling in on the flanks.
Valencia (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Joao Pereira, J. Fuego, Mathieu, Bernat; Feghouli, Keita; Parejo, Cartabia, Vargas; Alcacer.
Sevilla (4-2-3-1): Beto; Diogo, Pareja, Fazio, Navarro; Carrico, Mbia; Reyes, Rakitic, Vitolo; Bacca.
This is the first time the Spanish rivals have ever faced each other in a European competition, but are more than acquainted with each other in domestic football. Valencia have the edge over their opponents overall, and their record stands at W95 D35 L77 against the Andalusian side.
The La Liga sides have met each other two times this term already. The first match in September ended in a 3-1 win for Valencia at the Mestalla, and the second clash at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Sevilla defeated 2011 champions, Porto, 4-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan after trailing the first leg 1-0, and Valencia overturned a sizeable 3-0 deficit to go through thanks to a magnificent 5-0 defeat of Basel at the Mestalla.
Both sides pulled out impressive comebacks in the their respective quarter-final second leg clashes in order to progress to the last-four.
There will certainly be some revenge on the mind of Emery, who was sacked as manager of Valencia in 2012 despite guiding Los Che to the Champions League thanks to a third-place finish in the Spanish Primera Division. Dumping his former employers out of the Europa League over these two legs will certainly prove satisfactory to the 42-year-old.
But will it be Unai Emery or Juan Antonio Pizzi who guides their outfit to the Europa League final in Turin on 14th May?
One thing is for sure in this year's competition; we will see a Spanish side in the final!
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action!
Good evening folks, welcome to LIVE coverage of the Europa League semi-final clash between Sevilla and Valencia from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan!
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