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