Sevilla produced a spirited fight back as they came from behind twice to register a 3-2 victory in the Basque Country against Real Sociedad. A goal from Luis Fabiano and a brace from Frederic Kanoute has put the Sevillistas just a point off the top-six.
Both sides started relatively even as they opted to keep possession and try to exploit their attacks down the flanks. In particular Sevilla who have been buoyed by the return of Jesus Navas in recent weeks and was looking ever so bright from the get go. The Spanish international played in a beautiful through ball early on to Luis Fabiano who was lurking in the penalty area and did magnificently well with his control but disappointed with the end product as his shot scuffed well wide.
Sociedad showed their credentials on the attack as Francisco Sutil latched onto a wonderful cross-field pass and bamboozled his marker down the left thanks to an intricate first touch which took him to the by-line before whipping in a teasing cross that eluded his teammates. Nevertheless it was a terrific move by the hosts.
The Anoetta erupted into rapturous scenes on 22 minutes thanks to Diego Rivas’s opener. The anchor man isn’t known for his goal-scoring prowess but provided a sublime finish from the edge of the eighteen-yard box as he diligently swept the ball past Andres Palop’s left hand-side via Mikel Gonzalez’s layoff. It was wonderfully executed but the Sevilla defence opted to stand off prior to the shot giving Rivas a sight on goal.
It wasn’t to matter however as Rojiblancos produced an immediate response through Frederic Kanoute. Diego Perotti’s deep out-swinging corner was met by the head of Luis Fabiano who nodded the ball back across goal to Kanoute who made no mistake with a clinical volley that gave Claudio Bravo in goal no chance. Great awareness from the Brazilian to seek his teammate with the assist.
The game from then on became very open with both sides looking to attack. Navas was seeing plenty of the ball for the team in red and although he looked bright on the ball many of his passes were going astray. Fabiano and Kanoute were producing some decent holdup play and at times dropped deep to get the wingers on their toes.
Sociedad had a terrific opportunity to take the lead through David Zurutuza who more or less had a free header in the penalty area but opted for placement rather than power making Palop’s task easier with the save.
Five minutes later however the home side were back in front thanks to a piece of initiative from Joseba Llorente. A standard clearance turned into an inadvertent route one ball to the attacker who easily shrugged of Julien Escude before dispatching a volley from distance that crept past Palop’s right hand side and into the net. The Spaniard in goal was caught off guard and lost his footing as he tried to deny the effort but ultimately was outdone by the confidence of the Sociedad star.
Interestingly Palop made way at half-time being replaced by Javi Varas raising questions over a loss of confidence from his coach Gregorio Manzano. The stopper showed no signs of carrying an injury as the first-half drew to a close raising suspicion over the substitution.
His peers however showed plenty of intent in the early exchanges after the interval as they sought that elusive equalizer and they succeeded on the hour thanks to Luis Fabiano. Another Perotti corner created the opportunity and it was substitute Alvaro Negredo, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, hit the ball across goal and found an unmarked Fabiano who easily poked the ball home with his toe.
Negredo’s arrival certainly spun the game on its head and he was the architect for Sevilla’s third minutes later as he assisted Kanoute for his brace. The substitute played the ball to his teammate in the penalty area who took two touches to compose himself before dispatching his shot in off the near post. It was fantastic composure from the former Mali international.
Sociedad showed tremendous spirit as they look to get back into the game but Sevilla showed equally impressive resilience to hold and register an impressive victory. Ion Ansotegi nearly earned a point deep into stoppage time after heading Xabi Prieto’s cross wide.
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