Sevilla 1-1 Valencia
On paper, this was arguably the most attractive tie of the midweek round in La Liga and although it was the first, it will take some topping.
The match was lit up early on as Edinson Cavani added to his brace at the weekend with an excellent header at the far post. Gennaro Gattuso’s have impressed with with their proactive approach and handling of the ball, a them that continued at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Giorgi Mamardashvili did have to pull of several saves in quick succession after the goal, as Rafa Mir and Sevilla looked to respond quickly.
On the whole, Los Che will have been pleased with their defending too as Jorge Sampaoli’s side increasingly looked to pile on the pressure. In the final 15 minutes though, they began to creak. Increasingly they struggled to clear the ball and in the 85th minute, Jorge Sampaoli’s side eventually found a leveller, as Kike Salas flicked on a corner for Erik Lamela to head in at the back post.
If they were creaking before, the Valencia defence were groaning at the onslaught for the final five minutes and the seven minutes of added time. Against the run of play, Jesus Navas lost the ball though and Valencia were allowed to break on goal with Justin Kluivert.
A crazy sequence saw Papu Gomez sent off for a last man challenge, but the play had initially continued on and eventually that was rescinded. Kike Salas’ challenge had prevented a goal and he was instead sent off and a penalty given.
At the weekend, Sampaoli had Bounou to thank for their three points against Real Mallorca and as Jose Gaya stepped up, it was the Moroccan keeper who saved the penalty and the day again. Sampaoli remains unbeaten since returning to Sevilla and Gattuso while he will rue the result, the Italian will no doubt have enjoyed the adrenaline of a manic match.