Tag Archives: Sevilla

Rakitic ‘on final stage of joining Sevilla’

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Barcelona continue to work on their summer rebuild, despite the obvious elephant in the room, and Ivan Rakitic could be one of the first to leave with the Croatian a mere step away from re-joining Sevilla.

Negotiations between the Andalusian club and Barcelona have accelerated in the last hours, with Ronald Koeman making it clear to Rakitic that he wasn’t in his plans.

MARCA has learned that the player is undergoing the requisite medical tests in Barcelona, ahead of his imminent transfer.

Monchi completed his third signing of the window after Suso and Oscar Rodriguez both arrived on permanent deals, and Rakitic will take the place of the departing Ever Banega.

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Rakitic had always been clear that he didn’t want to leave Barcelona, although events of recent months have made that stance waver somewhat.

A departure from Spain itself, though, was always going to be impossible with his family settled and comfortable, so it looked like it would be a direct battle between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.

The latter never appeared though, and now Rakitic will go back to the place he considers to be home, where he enjoyed some of his finest footballing moments.

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Sevilla confirms signing Oscar Rodriguez

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Sevilla have reached an agreement to sign Oscar Rodriguez from Real Madrid.

The midfielder will sign a five-year deal at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, with the final details of the transfer still to be ironed out.

According to Orgullo de Nervion, Sevilla will pay 13.5 million euros for 75 percent of the player’s economic rights, with 25 percent remaining with Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Leganes and will now be charged with replacing the departed Ever Banega at Sevilla.

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Bayern to face Sevilla for the ‘Super Cup’


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Bayern to face Sevilla for the ‘Super Cup’

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Bayern Munich’s Champions League triumph in Lisbon has set up a mouth-watering tie in the UEFA Super Cup, as they’ll come up against Sevilla.

Budapest will play host to the final on September 24 as Sevilla hope to win their second UEFA Super Cup after a victory over Barcelona in 2006.

On August 19, UEFA organised a videoconference with the 55 general secretaries of its member associations, who suggested using the meeting between Sevilla and Bayern Munich as a trial to allow supporters back into stadiums.

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It remains to be seen, though, if this will happen.

The two teams have only met once before, with a quarter-final in the 2017/18 Champions League seeing Bayern Munich progress 2-1 on aggregate.

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Sevilla are Europa league Champions once again

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Romelu Lukaku went from hero to villain as he scored at both ends to both open and close the scoring in Inter’s 3-2 defeat to Sevilla in Friday night’s Europa League final.

The Belgian put his side ahead inside five minutes in a frantic first half, with Diego Godin levelling the scores 30 minutes later after Luuk de Jong had scored twice for the Spanish side.

The chaos in Cologne started early as Inter were awarded a penalty inside five minutes.

There was little surprise to see Lukaku involved from the off, and he was fouled by Diego Carlos just as he looked to have beaten the defender.

It was Lukaku himself who stepped up and assumed responsibility from 12 yards and he, of course, slotted home to give Antonio Conte’s side an early lead.

But Sevilla know their way around a Europa League final and they duly fought back.

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Just seven minutes later Jesus Navas picked out De Jong in the Inter area and the Dutchman, who has had his fair share of criticism since landing in Andalusia, headed an effort that Samir Handanovic, despite making contact with the ball, couldn’t stop from finding the back of his net.

The madness continued. Antonio Conte was booked after Inter had appeals for a second penalty waved away, Danilo D’Ambrosio had a chance and other opportunities came and went at either end before the game’s third goal arrived.

It did eventually come through De Jong again as the LaLiga Santander side completed their turnaround.

This time the forward was on the end of an Ever Banega cross to the back post, from where he dispatched a towering header that Handanovic could do little about.

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That lead lasted even less time than Inter’s had though. Two minutes after falling behind, Diego Godin grabbed his own headed goal.

Marcelo Brozovic turned provider as he put a freekick right in front of Bono’s goal, from where the Uruguayan was on hand to turn it past the Moroccan.

De Jong passed up a chance to grab his hat-trick in the first half and former AC Milan player Lucas Ocampos forced a save out of Handanovic as Sevilla and the game showed no signs of slowing down before the break.

The Spaniards had been the better side for much of the game but Inter almost retook the lead through Roberto Gagliardini shortly after the restart only for a heroic block from Diego Carlos.

Another former Milan man in Suso had a chance himself, as did Sergio Reguillon, but Lukaku will feel that the biggest chance to give either side a second half lead fell to him.

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The Belgian broke from inside his own half but couldn’t beat Bono as he rushed out of his goal to block the forward’s attempt.

Lukaku and Diego Carlos were again involved in an incident in the same box as the first half, but this time with opposite fortunes.

A freekick into the Inter area was only half dealt with before it fell to the defender. His overhead kick appeared to be going wide of Handanovic’s post but the No.9 stuck a leg out and ricocheted it into his own goal.

Alexis Sanchez had barely set foot on the pitch when he came close to levelling the scores again, though his prodded effort from close range in a goalmouth scramble was cleared off the line by Jules Kounde.

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Final Score: Sevilla 3-2 Inter

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Sevilla claimed a record sixth Europa League triumph this century after 3-2 win over Inter. Tow teams are neck and neck in the first half, Lukaku wins and converts penalty for Inter before De Jong doubles give Sevilla lead, following by Godin heads instant Inter equaliser. Unfortunately, Lukaku diverted Carlos’ bicycle kick into his own net midway through the second half.

2019/2020 UEFA Europa League
3-2
Luuk de Jong (12′)
Luuk de Jong (33′)
Carlos (74′)
Lukaku (5′ PEN)
Godin (35′)


Match Events


0′ The match is about to start!

0′ KICK-OFF! Who can win this match?

5′ Penalty Goal! Sevilla 0-1 Inter (Lukaku)

12′ GOAL! Sevilla 1-1 Inter (Luuk de Jong)

17′ No pen! Carlos handball overlooked by ref

18′ Yellow Card! Conte booked

28′ CHANCE! D’Ambrosio’s header wide out

33′ GOAL! Sevilla 2-1 Inter (Luuk de Jong)

35′ GOAL! Sevilla 2-2 Inter (Godin)

45′ CLOSE! Ocampos’ header denied by Handanovic

55′ Yellow Card! Bastoni booked

57′ CLOSE! Reguilon’s shot hits the net

59′ CLOSE! Young’s long shot over the bar

65′ CLOSE! Lukaku misses a good chance

74′ GOAL! Sevilla 3-2 Inter (Carlos)

82′ CLOSE! Kounde makes goal-line clearance

91′ CLOSE! Candreva’s shot denied

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Line-ups
Sevilla XI: J. Navas, Banega, Fernando, Luuk de Jong, Bounou, Ocampos, Suso, Jordan, Carlos, Reguilon, Kounde

Subs: Vaclik, Vazquez, Escudero, Gudelj, Gomez, Oliver Torres, Munir, En-Nesyri, José Lara, Genaro Rodríguez, Javi Diaz, Pablo Pérez

Inter XI: Young, Handanovic, Godin, Lukaku, De Vrij, D’Ambrosio, Brozovic, Gagliardini, Barella, Lautaro, Bastoni

Subs: Sanchez, Candreva, Padelli, Valero, Moses, Ranocchia, Eriksen, Biraghi, Skriniar, Sensi, Pirola, Esposito.

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Sevilla Vs Inter: Team Preview for UEL…

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After a protracted season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, we are finally one game away from determining the 2019-20 Europa League winners.

Spanish outfit Sevilla take on Italian giants Inter Milan on Friday night with the showpiece being held at the Stadion Koln in Cologne, Germany.

Both sides will be confident of victory but how do they match up? Sportsmail takes a look at the two teams ahead of kick-off…

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Historical pedigree
Sevilla and Inter are two of the most successful in the competition’s history (either as the Europa League or in its previous guise as the UEFA Cup).

In fact, nobody has won this trophy more times than Sevilla who have it lifted it on five separate occasions. Their triumphs have comes in spades with their maiden 2006 win being followed up a year later, then victory in 2014 was repeated in 2015 and 2016. They are yet to lose in a final of this competition.

Inter Milan have won this trophy three times – with their triumphs all occurring during the 1990s (1991, 1994 and 1998). This places them joint-second alongside Liverpool, Juventus and Atletico Madrid. Unlike Sevilla though, the San Siro outfit have been on the losing side once in a final – coming up short on penalties to Schalke in 1997.

Rather surprisingly this is the first-ever European meeting between Sevilla and Inter Milan.

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Route to the final
It’s been two contrasting routes to the final for Sevilla and Inter. For the former, they’ve been in the competition since the start. Drawn in Group A with Qarabag, APOEL Nicosia and Dudelange; the LaLiga outfit cruised through to top spot as they won their first five games – having scored 14 goals and conceding just two.

Next up was Cluj in the last 32 whom they scraped through via away goals. The first leg in Romania ended 1-1 with the return counter in Spain finishing 0-0. Italian outfit Roma awaited them next following the season restart and they were dispatched 2-0 in the last 16.

The quarter-final and semi-final stages provided Premier League opposition in the shape of Wolves and Manchester United. Lucas Ocampos’ 88th-minute winner saw Sevilla beat Wolves 1-0 – in a game where the Spaniard’s goalkeeper Yassine Bounou saved Raul Jimenez’s 13th-minute penalty.

Sunday’s semi-final against United was as equally as tight. After falling behind to an early Bruno Fernandes penalty, Sevilla equalised through Suso in the first half before Luuk de Jong won the match with 12 minutes remaining.

Meanwhile, for Inter their route in the Europa League began in last 32 after they finished third in their Champions League group behind Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. However, since dropping down to this competition, Inter have won all five of their matches this season.

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First up was Ludogorets in the last 32. The Italian giants won the first leg 2-0 in Bulgaria before completing the tie with a 2-1 victory back at the San Siro. Once the season restarted, they were drawn to play Getafe in the last 16.

Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen were on the scoresheet to provide a 2-0 win. Next came Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals – a match they won 2-1 with all three goals scored within the first 25 minutes.

And on Monday, Inter produced their best performance of the tournament so far as they crushed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the semi-finals. Lautaro Martinez and Lukaku both scored a brace, while Danilo D’Ambrosio got the other.

How are they likely to line-up?
It will be contrasting formations in Cologne. Sevilla are likely to stick with their 4-3-3 formation which has served them well.

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Ex-Manchester City winger Jesus Navas will form part of a back four at right back that will include Sergio Regulion at left back. The latter is on loan from Real Madrid but his performances have attracted interest from Chelsea.

In midfield Ever Banega will pull the strings, while Ocampos will form part of their front three alongside Suso and Youssef En-Nesyri.

For Inter, they’ll be playing 3-5-2. Veteran Samir Handanovic will be in goal, while the defence will include the experience of the wily Diego Godin.

Former Manchester United captain Ashley Young will be at left-wing back, while the three in midfield will likely be Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Roberto Gagliardini. And up front will be the deadly duo of Lukaku and Martinez.

So, what are the key battles then?
Diego Carlos vs Romelu Lukaku

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This is probably the biggest match-up of the final. Sevilla defender Diego Carlos is a no-nonsense centre back but is rash and prone to losing his head a little bit.

The Brazilian has conceded successive penalties in the quarter-finals and semi-finals for scything down opponents. He’s going to face an almighty battle against Lukaku who has scored 33 goals in all competitions in his debut Inter season. T

he Belgian’s tally is the most by an Inter player since Samuel Eto’o scored 37 in 2010-11.

Ever Banega vs Marcelo Brozovic

In midfield we have two slick operators going head-to-head. This will be Banega’s swansong at Sevilla with the Argentine leaving the club at the end of this season.

An intelligent midfielder, the 32-year-old will be looking to make his side tick. Meanwhile, Inter’s Brozovic is a box-to-box midfielder who will be looking to play on the front foot, while also disrupting Sevilla’s rhythm.

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Suso vs Ashley Young

It’s Liverpool versus Manchester United of some sorts with Sevilla’s right winger Suso (ex-Liverpool) set to go up against Inter left-wing back Young (ex-United).

Suso will be keen to exploit any spaces that Young leaves behind him when going forward, while equally the latter will be trying to force him back at every opportunity.

And the battle in the dugout?
In their maiden seasons at their respective clubs, Antonio Conte and Julen Lopetegui are both managing in their first-ever major European club final.

The duo are two of six managers to have managed at least 10 Europa League games with a win ratio of 70 per cent or more.

Conte’s record is second-best (played 13, won 10, win ratio = 77 per cent), while Lopetegui’s is fourth-best (played 11, won eight, win ratio = 73%).

Domestically both managers have qualified for the Champions League next season with top-four finishes (Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga, while Inter came second in Serie A – a point behind champions Juventus). After a long campaign, both would love nothing more than to end it with Europa League silverware.

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Wolves Vs Sevilla lineups confirmed

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The line-ups of Wolves vs Sevilla have been announced.

Wolves XI: Patricio, Moutinho, Boly, Doherty, Coady, Jimenez, Saiss, Dendoncker, Traore, Neves, Vinagre

Subs: Ruddy, Jota, O. Buur, Jordao, Gibbs-White, Kilman, Pedro Neto, Richards, Campana, C. Marques, Sondergaard

Sevilla XI: J. Navas, Banega, Fernando, Bounou, Ocampos, Suso, Jordan, Carlos, Reguilon, Kounde, En-Nesyri

Subs: Vaclik, Vazquez, Escudero, Luuk de Jong, Gomez, Oliver Torres, Munir, José Mena, José Lara, Genaro Rodríguez, Javi Diaz, Pablo Pérez

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Sevilla reaches New heights in Europa league


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Sevilla reaches New heights in Europa league

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Sevilla beat Roma 2-0 in Duisburg to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Sergio Reguilon and Youssef En-Nesyri got the goals for Julen Lopetegui’s side, but the truth is that Sevilla could have won by a far bigger margin.

Just 13 minutes in, Sevilla had their first clear-cut chance to score as Jules Kounde’s header from a corner cannoned back out off the bar. The French centre-back regularly got forward and caused problems throughout the match, even getting on the scoresheet in the 73rd minute before seeing that he’d been adjudged to be offside.

Reguilon, playing his final games for Sevilla before he returns to Real Madrid, grabbed the game’s opening goal in the 21st minute. After a cross-field ball by Suso, the left-back carried the ball forward, using his pace, and then sent a shot towards goal that somehow squeezed its way through Pau Lopez.

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Sevilla doubled their advantage in the 44th minute, this time after a deadly counter-attack. Fernando Reges won the ball back in Sevilla’s half and gave it to Joan Jordan, who played a wonderful forward pass for Lucas Ocampos to chase. The Argentine got there and looked up to find Youssef En-Nesyri arriving in the area, with the Moroccan able to calmly fire into the back of the net.

The second half saw Sevilla largely control things and have a few chances, including the aforementioned offside Kounde goal, but Roma were unable to get past the impressive Frenchman and his centre-back partner, Diego Carlos.

What this display did show is that no team will want to face Lopetegui’s Sevilla. Perhaps a sixth Europa League trophy could be on the cards.

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Sevilla Vs Roma starting Xi’s revealed

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Sevilla and Roma will take on each other in Duisburg on Thursday night for a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Fernando Reges was a doubt coming into the game but has been named in Julen Lopetegui’s XI, while the Sevilla boss has also opted for Bono between the sticks and Youssef En-Nesyri up top.

Sevilla’s starting line-up: Bono; Jesus Navas, Jules Kounde, Diego Carlos, Sergio Reguilon; Fernando Reges, Joan Jordan, Ever Banega; Suso, Youssef En-Nesyri, Lucas Ocampos.

Roma’s starting line-up: Pau Lopez; Gianluca Mancini, Roger Ibanez, Aleksandar Kolarov; Bruno Peres, Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara, Leonardo Spinazzola; Nicolo Zaniolo, Henrikh Mkhitaryan; Edin Dzeko

The game kicks off at 18:55 CEST.

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Sevilla plots perfect time to sign Kepa

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Sevilla are reportedly interested in signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan to end the goalkeeper’s Chelsea misery.

The Spaniard has struggled to justify the £71.6million fee Chelsea paid for him in 2018, with Frank Lampard less than impressed with his performances this season.

Kepa’s latest showing did little to convince his boss he is the right man to fill the no.1 role for a title challenge next season, as he was found wanting for two of West Ham’s goals on Wednesday.

Lampard is now reportedly eyeing up new targets to replace Kepa, but must first work out a way to at least get him off the wage bill.

The Sun report that Sevilla have now emerged as as a potential destination for the 25-year-old.

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With finances tight across the board, a permanent transfer looks unlikely this summer.

A temporary move back to Spain could suit both parties though, providing Sevilla are willing to cover at least the majority of Kepa’s salary.

That could prove difficult, given Kepa is among the top earners at Chelsea on a £150,000-per-week contract.

One solution could be for Chelsea to charge Sevilla a substantial loan fee, but allow for a reduction in his wage payments.

Valencia are among the sides keen on signing Kepa, but the same financial scenario applies.

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That would go against Chelsea’s normal transfer policy, but facilitating Kepa’s return to La Liga would give him an opportunity to regain his confidence.

Whether he would still have a role to play at Stamford Bridge beyond that is uncertain though.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has been continually linked with a move to The Blues this summer, and his arrival would all-but end Kepa’s time at the club.

Lampard is already calling on former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech’s expertise to find a new no.1.

Cech – who now works as a technical adviser at the club – played a key role in sealing a transfer for Timo Werner, and The Telegraph claim he has now been tasked with finding a replacement for Kepa.

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Drawing points with Villarreal, Sevilla moved in LaLiga third place

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Sharp shooting allowed Sevilla to twice come from behind and take a valuable away point in a 2-2 draw at in-form Villarreal on Monday to move up to third place in LaLiga.

The result took Sevilla to 53 points from 31 games and boosted their bid for a Champions League berth while inflicting a blow to similar ambitions held by the hosts, who moved up to sixth but are on 48 points, four points off the top four.

Sevilla captain Sergio Escudero hammered home a stinging shot from outside the penalty area for the first equaliser just before the break and Munir El Haddadi’s left-foot volley from an acute angle secured a draw at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Paco Alcacer and Pau Torres both scored to put Villarreal 2-1 ahead at halftime as their side looked for a fourth straight win since LaLiga returned after the three-month Covid-19 lockdown.

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Alcacer reacted quickest to open the scoring in the 18th minute, stabbing home the rebound from close range after the initial effort from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa had forced a point-blank save out of Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

Escudero equalised in the 39th minute as he took advantage of space offered by a defence that was backing off him.

But the lead did not last long as poor marking on the stroke of halftime allowed lanky defender Torres to head home from a corner and put Villarreal back in front.

Munir was one of three changes that Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui made at halftime in a gamble that paid off when another of the changes, veteran Jesus Navas, swept a pass from one side of the field to the other to find the unmarked Munir.

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The 24-year-old former Barcelona player fired a volley into the net, the sweet connection offering a reminder of his potential.

Villarreal brought on 36-year-old midfielder Bruno Soriano for the final five minutes as he made his first appearance in more than three years after being persistently troubled by knee problems. He had last played in May 2017.

Miguel Angel Guerrero missed a golden chance to temper Leganes’ relegation concerns when he had his penalty saved in Monday’s late game at home to Granada, whose goalkeeper Rui Silva pushed the 64th minute effort onto the crossbar.

The goalless draw left Leganes second from bottom while Granada moved up to ninth place.

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Title race failure as Barca drops 2 points at Sevilla

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Spanish league leaders Barcelona were held to a goalless draw at Sevilla, leaving the title race wide open with eight games remaining.

2019/2020 La Liga

00

Match Report

The result means second-placed Real Madrid could move level on points with Barcelona when they travel to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Lionel Messi’s free-kick skimmed the bar in the first half but Barcelona were frustrated by Sevilla’s defence.

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Lucas Ocampos also hit the crossbar for the hosts before the break.

Sevilla sat deep, often playing with five at the back, and it proved effective as Barcelona saw lots of the ball but failed to create many clear-cut opportunities.

Messi’s free-kick was the closest they came, and Luis Suarez’ first-time strike almost sneaked in minutes before full-time, but Sevilla had bursts of attacking promise – Ocampos and Munir El Haddadi forcing two smart saves from Ter Stegen from close range in the first half.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann came on as a substitute in the 76th minute in an attempt to find a winner but did not make an impact.

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On-loan Real Madrid defender Sergio Reguilon had a great chance to score for Sevilla in stoppage time when the ball fell kindly for him in an unmarked position in the box but he hit it straight at Ter Stegen.

The league leaders next play Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday, 23 June, while Messi remains one off 700 career goals.

Match Events

21′ Messi’s free kick stopped by Kounde

MESSI COMES CLOSE! Munir backs into Messi and Barcelona have a free-kick 20 yards from goal – perfect range for Messi. He lifts the ball over the wall and Kounde is well placed to head it off the line. Vaclik probably would have made the save had Kounde not been there, anyway.

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25′ Rakitic’s long shot wide out

54′ SAVE! Ocampos’ shot stopped by Ter Stegen

SAVE! Ter Stegen finally has something to do. Ocampos drills an angled shot on target and the Barcelona keeper gets a strong fist to the ball to keep it out.

57′ Munir’s shot stopped by Ter Stegen

ANOTHER SAVE! Setien must surely be tempted to turn to his bench because Barcelona are second best at the moment. Munir is played in behind down the left, races into the box and forces Ter Stegen into a second stop in the same number of minutes.

73′ CLOSE! Messi’s free kick stopped by Vaclik

MESSI DENIED! Messi came close from a couple of free-kicks in the first half. This latest set-piece effort from range is pretty decent, too, with Vaclik having to help it over the crossbar with his fingertips.

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Line-ups

Sevilla XI: J. Navas, Vaclik, Fernando, Luuk de Jong, Ocampos, Oliver Torres, Jordan, Carlos, Munir, Reguilon, Kounde

Subs: Banega, Vazquez, Escudero, Gudelj, Gomez, Bounou, Lopes, Suso, José Mena, En-Nesyri, Genaro Rodríguez, Pablo Pérez

Barcelona XI: Messi, Suarez, Pique, Rakitic, Vidal, Alba, Busquets, Braithwaite, Ter Stegen, Lenglet, Semedo

Subs: Neto, Griezmann, Arthur, Chumi Brandariz, Firpo, Pena, R. Araújo, Monchu, Riqui Puig, Álex Collado, E. Delgado, Fati.

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Barca – Sevilla lineups, Braitwaite to start, Griezmann benched

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The line-ups of Sevilla vs Barcelona have been announced.

Sevilla XI: TBC

Subs: TBC

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen – Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba – Busquets, A.Vidal, Rakitic – Messi, Suárez, Braithwaite.

Subs: TBC

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Barca’s Starting Xi against Sevilla revealed

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Messi, Suarez and Griezmann lead Barcelona’s squad to face Sevilla in the next La Liga game and Alba has returned to the squad while Umtiti, Sergi Roberto and Frenkie De Jong are out of the list due to injury.

This Thursday, the team trained for the last time before the match against Sevilla in constant rain. The available players worked out on the Tito Vilanova pitch, where Sergi Roberto and De Jong did specific work.

The former has a rib fissure, while the Dutch midfielder has an overload on his right leg, meaning both players are not available for the trip. The evolution of each injury will condition their availability.

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Full Squad

GK: Ter Stegen, Neto, Pena

DF: Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo, Araujo, Alba, Chumi

MF: Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Vidal, Puig, Collado, Monchu

FW: Suarez, Messi, Griezmann, Braithwaite, Fati, Saverio

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Rakitic hints on emotional return to Sevilla


Ivan Rakitic has again hinted at an emotional return to Sevilla, in a documentary about his friend Jose Antonio Reyes to be aired in Spain on Wednesday evening.

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It’s an open secret that Sevilla would love their former player to return to the club when he leaves Barcelona but any deal this summer would seriously stretch their resources.

But in 2021 the 32-year-old will be out of contract and could go back to Andalusia on a free and Rakitic appears open to a return.

Asked in the Movistar film if he would consider wearing Reyes’ number 10 Sevilla shirt one day, by way of tribute to the Spanish winger who was killed in a car accident in 2019, Rakitic says: ‘If it were possible it would be something very special and I would be proud to be able to pay tribute to my great friend in this way.

‘It would be a nice way of showing that he is missed by wearing his number.’

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Rakitic, who has won four leagues and a Champions League at Barcelona as part of an impressive trophy haul since joining in 2014 is one the players Barcelona see as potentially generating them money in the transfer market.

Last season they did their best to sell although the player favours staying in Spain limiting the range of potential suitors.

It’s not the first time he has paid emotional homage to Reyes who wore the 10 shirt in his final seasons at the club.

~Ivan Rakitic

And it’s not the first time he has displayed huge affection for his previous club.

Speaking at an awards event in Seville last year he as asked about going back to his former club and he joked to reporters: ‘If it was up to my wife we would not go back [to Barcelona]. If the moment arises when we can talk [about a return] I would be delighted.

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‘I have always said that if there is one of my ex-clubs that I could go back to it would be Sevilla.

‘I hope it can happen one day but above all I am happy for where the club is at the moment and the results that they are having.

‘From afar it feels me with pride and joy when they are doing well. It would be a dream to wear the shirt again.’

~Ivan Rakitic

Rakitic was given a special award for services to football in that event organized by ‘El Desmarque’.

Reyes, a former team-mate of Rakitic at Sevilla, was also honoured at the event and Rakitic was in tears when he spoke during his acceptance speech about the Spain international.

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Odriozola Shows Excitement By Sevilla’s Move

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Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui is a big fan of Alvaro Odriozola and this summer could see the two reunite at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

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The coach took the right-back to the 2018 World Cup with Spain and then they turned up at the same time at Real Madrid, after Odriozola had made the switch from Real Sociedad.

Monchi, Sevilla’s sporting director, is determined to find further competition for current right-back Jesus Navas and a move for Odriozola may be feasible, given that Dani Carvajal is ahead of him in Zinedine Zidane’s pecking order and then there is the returning Achraf Hakimi to worry about.

For now, though, Odriozola is only focused on the resumption of the season with Bayern Munich, who he joined on a six-month loan in January.

“Right now, I’m focusing on Bayern and I’m not listening to rumours,” Odriozola told El Chiringuito.

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“Sevilla are a great club and it makes my hair stand on end when I hear their hymn.”

Sevilla have a good relationship with Real Madrid after taking Sergio Reguilon on a season-long loan, with the left-back having shone in Lopetegui’s system, and now it seems as though they are lining themselves up to sign another of Los Blancos’ full-backs in Odriozola.


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