Sevilla beat Valencia in Europa League

Madrid, April 25 (IANS): The UEFA Europa League all-Spanish semi-final between Sevilla and Valencia ended with a first leg 2-0 win for the former at home.

Sevilla went into the tie Thursday night on the back of nine wins from their last 10 games in the Spanish La Liga, while Valencia currently are in eighth place in the BBVA Primera Liga, reports Xinhua.

Valencia overcame a 0-3 deficit from the first leg quarterfinal at FC Basel, beating them 5-0 in the second leg, reports Xinhua.

Valencia, despite missing important players in the middle of their defence, were compact and well organised in the opening stages of the game with the match a closely contested affair.

Sevilla took control of the tie in four magnificent minutes towards the end of the first half as first Stephane M'Bia and then Carlos Bacca beat Valencia keeper Vicente Guaita.

M'bia scored following a free kick taken by Sevilla's star player Ivan Rakitic, but the player on loan from English club Queens Park Rangers looked to have been in a clear offside position, which went unpunished by the referee.

There was no doubt about Bacca's goal, however, as he latched onto a through ball from Vitolo to score with a low shot.

With Valencia reeling, Guaita then did well to save a point-blank header from Federico Fazio on the brink of halftime.

The second half was a more even affair, but Rakitic again ran the game and Guaita did well to save from the Croatian midfielder as the game became a more end-to-end affair and Pablo Alcacer also went close for Valencia.

Valencia's best chances came in the closing minutes as Jonas drew a point-blank save from Beto, moments before Alcacar hit the bar with a header. 

The Valencia striker was then harshly booked by the Slovakian referee for a supposed foul on Beto and will miss the return leg, which will make Valencia's task of overturning the result even harder.


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