Montella pleased with ‘growing’ SevillaJanuary 24, 2018
Vincenzo Montella has praised his side after their Copa del Rey victory over Atletico Madrid, saying his side are ‘growing’.
Leading 2-1 from the first leg away at the Wanda Metropolitano, Sevilla took just 25 seconds to confirm their advantage as Sergio Escudero volleyed them in front.
Great play worked the ball out wide to Pablo Sarabia whose cross was met on the full by left back Escudero who struck the ball ferociously past Miguel Moya for the perfect start for the hosts.
Nothing changed for Atleti with that goal, Los Colchoneros still needed two goals only now to take the game to extra time and on 13 minutes they grabbed the first of those.
A long ball forward was knocked down by Kevin Gameiro to fellow Frenchman Antoine Griezmann who flicked the ball past the defender and as the ball sat up he hit it on the half volley with his weaker right foot from 25 yards and watched as the ball sailed beyond Sergio Rico and into the back of the net.
The game was played at a high tempo throughout but with Atleti needing to score, it would be Sevilla who would make the next move.
Joaquin Correa burst into the box where he was stopped in his tracks by Saul Niguez with the referee pointing to the spot. Up stepped Ever Banega to slot past Moya despite the keeper going the right way.
Atleti continued to press but they were caught on the break by the hosts with Sarabia collecting the ball on the left hand side of the box before cutting inside and seeing his low shot deflect into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
There was no time left for Atleti to get back into the game this time despite efforts from Gameiro and Yannick Carrasco with boss Diego Simeone being sent to the stand for an altercation with the match officials as Atleti’s Copa del Rey campaign fizzled out.
“It was a great victory,” he told reporters after the game.
“It was a great evening for all of us. Our spirit is to have attacking players like Navas, who did very well at full-back.
“We’ll celebrate his performance but get back to work as of Wednesday. The team have shown steady signs of growth and I’m very happy with this. Now we have to keep improving.”
Sevilla now await to find out their semi-final opponents with Real Madrid and Barcelona playing their respective quarter-finals on Wednesday and Thursday.