Monday, December 11, 2023

Sevilla knocks Levante down and approaches the Champions League

Sevilla won again away from their stadium after more than three months after beating Levante 2-3, a victory that allows the Andalusian team to get closer to the goal of playing the next edition of the Champions League and that moves a little further away to the Valencians of the dream of permanence.

Much was at stake on the ‘Ciutat de València’ pitch and both teams soon showed their cards. Levante opted for a containment game looking for Morales to overflow as their main offensive argument, while Sevilla shot possession and turned their game to the left where Tecatito put the local defense in trouble.

The Mexican would be the great protagonist of this first half with a luxury partner, the Argentine Ocampos who returned to the team. The connection between both players was lethal for Levante.

Thus, after a quarter of an hour, the game entered a frenetic phase in which three goals were scored in just over ten minutes. Ocampos, in a personal action, took a complicated cross to the far post where Tecatito won the game over his two markers to head the 0-1 at will.

The reaction of the Valencian team was immediate. At 16 minutes Rober Pier scored in an action in which he seemed to be offside but in the review, the VAR detected some previous hands by Diego Carlos and after viewing the play himself the referee decided to award the penalty. Morales did not fail, despite the fact that Bono came to touch the ball, to raise the tie.

Morales celebrates after scoring against Sevilla. EFE

With hardly any time to savor the equalizer, Sevilla dealt a new blow to Levante. Once again Ocampos served at the heart of the area where Tecatito took advantage of the fact that his poor control misled his marker and the goalkeeper to make it 1-2 and sign his first double in the Spanish League.

Once the advantage was regained, the team from Seville slowed down the pace of the match although they were able to extend their lead before going into the break, with a clear shot by Kounde that went just wide.

Levante increased the intensity after passing through the changing rooms. Sevilla no longer played so comfortably and the high pressure from the locals put the Andalusian defense in trouble, almost unprecedented in the first half.

Lopetegui was desperate on the bench and Bono saved the tie with Melero’s shot with his foot. There was party. The match turned into an exchange of blows, with clear chances in both areas.

Acuña, after losing the ball in the area against Radoja, clearly grabbed the local midfielder and the referee signaled a new penalty, the fifth that Levante has been called in their last two home games, but this time Morales sent his shot wide.

Goalkeeper Cárdenas kept Levante in the match with two spectacular headers from Ocampos and Rafa Mir. Lisci played an outburst from the bench with a triple change and putting two more forwards like Soldier and Cantero. However, Sevilla stopped him dead. Koundé headed a corner kick at the near post to make it 1-3 and the final touch to the match in the 83rd minute.

Levante did not give up and pulled caste and honor. Soldier was about to balance the game in just two minutes. First he reduced differences, after completing a counterattack guided by Morales, and shortly after he was able to equalize after a kick by goalkeeper Bono bounced off it, which went out just as it could have ended up inside. There was no more time. A disconsolate Morales cried at the end of the game.

Data sheet:

2. Raise: Cárdenas, Son, Vezo (Saracchi, m.77), Postigo (Duarte, m.39), Rober Pier, Miramón (Cantero, m.77); Pepelu, Radoja, Melero (Bardhi, m.66); Dani Gómez (Soldier, m.77) and Morales.

3. Seville: Bono, Navas (Montiel, m.56), Kounde, Diego Carlos, Acuña (Augustinsson, m.84); Jordán (Delaney, m.56), Rakitic, Ocampos, Papu Gómez (Oliver, m.72), Tecatito Corona and En-Nesyri (Rafa Mir, m.72.

Goals: 0-1, m.14: Tecatito Corona. 1-1, m.22: Morales, from a penalty. 1-2, m.27: Tecatito Corona. 1-3, m.82: Koundé. 2-3, m.87: Soldier.

Referee: Diaz de Mera (C. Castilian-Manchego). He admonished Pepelu for Levante and Jordán, Acuña, Rafa Mir and Montiel for Sevilla.

Incidents: Match corresponding to matchday 33 of LaLiga Santander played at the ‘Ciutat de València’ stadium in front of spectators. Francisco Fenollosa, honorary president of Levante UD, took the kick-off for his 90th birthday.


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