Champions League

Thiago scores winner as Bayern beat Sevilla

2018-04-03 23:07
Thiago Alcantara (Getty)

Seville - Sevilla ended their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich wondering what might have been, just as they had against Barcelona three days earlier. 

They had chances and were the better side for large spells of their 2-1 defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, but Bayern, like Barcelona, needed only a moment to strike. 

Vincenzo Montella said afterwards his players had not had luck on their side and there was some truth in that. 

Franck Ribery's cross was heading wide until Jesus Navas dangled out a foot and Thiago Alcantara's header would probably have been saved had it not been diverted by Sergio Escudero. 

But for all their energy, verve and aggression, Sevilla have shown this week they still lack the control to manage matches against elite opposition. 

Against Bayern, they led for only six minutes, allowing their opponents to reach half-time level when they could easily have been two goals down as Pablo Sarabia, Sevilla's scorer, had planted an earlier, easier chance wide. 

"With that opportunity it was a pity," Sarabia said. "I tried to adjust it to the maximum and I did not hit the target." 

Against Barcelona they had conceded twice after holding a deserved 2-0 lead with just two minutes to go. 

"We were a little lacking this side of experience... how to talk to the referee, and to be focused on small details," Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder said. 

"We know that it will be very complicated because now we have to (score) two goals there but we know that everything is possible." 

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said he believed the timing of his side's equaliser, just before the break, was a psychological turning-point. 

Scoring twice at the Allianz Arena next week is not beyond Sevilla, who can take heart from the numerous occasions they broke through Bayern on Tuesday - but it is hard to see them keeping a clean sheet. 

After the second leg, they play Celta Vigo and Villarreal in La Liga before a reunion in the Spanish Cup final with Barcelona, who this time are likely to have Lionel Messi for 90 minutes. 

If they are knocked out by Bayern and lose to Barca, Sevilla will be relying on their league position to qualify for Europe next season - they currently sit seventh, only two points ahead of Girona. 

Bayern, meanwhile, know they will have to improve with striker Robert Lewandowski, whose name continues to be linked with Real Madrid, virtually anonymous. 

It was the 34-year-old Ribery who made the difference. "In the first half we were not well organised," Ribery said. 

"We did not play in front, at the break the coach gave us a telling off. Seville is a very good team who plays very well in football, but we reacted well after the 1-0. 

"We must not believe that we are already in the semi-finals."

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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