Last gasp disaster as Sevilla snatch a point
Estadio José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain
Saturday March 20th, 2021
REAL VALLADOLID 1
Fabián Orellana (Pen.) 44’
Yassine Bono 90+4’
A goal from Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bono with the last kick of the match cancelled out Fabián Orellana’s first-half penalty and broke Real Valladolid hearts.
For the third week in a row, Sergio stuck with the same starting line-up who had earned four points from their last three matches. Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui made four changes to the side who beat Elche three days earlier, bringing in Karim Rekik, Diego Carlos, Joan Jordán and Papu Gómez for Marcos Acuña, Sergi Gómez, Ivan Rakitic and Óscar Rodríguez respectively.
The visitors looked every bit the quality side they are, dominating the opening half an hour. Gómez struck an angled effort on target and Roberto parried, but Youssef En-Nesyri was unable to connect with the rebound and it was hooked clear by Joaquín.
Club captain Jesús Navas and En-Nesyri began to settle into their established routine of the full-back swinging a cross in for the Moroccan but, on the occasion that they did connect, the striker’s header lacked any power and was gathered cleanly by Roberto.
Sevilla were unable to turn possession into goals and Real Valladolid grew into the last fifteen minutes of the half. Óscar Plano almost played through Sergi Guardiola with a neatly improvised touch after Jawad El-Yamiq had beaten countryman En-Nesyri to the ball, but he could not gather the ball and Bono scooped up the danger.
Their inability to find the breakthrough came back to bite Sevilla in a moment of defensive self-destruct. As the final minutes of the half ebbed away, the ball was played into the box from the left and Weissman controlled with his back to goal. Before he could pivot and shoot, Diego Carlos clattered into him from behind as left-back Karim Rekik clumsily kneed the leg of the Israeli at the same time. Play continued but, at the next break in action, a VAR review confirmed the foul and a penalty was awarded. Fabián Orellana made no mistake from the spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way as he slotted the penalty to the right, for his fourth goal of the season.
The second half was a curious affair, with little in the way of flowing football and Sevilla making several substitutions throughout which altered their shape almost beyond recognition. Guardiola had a good opportunity eight minutes after the break, when a poor pass from Jules Koundé to substitute Lucas Ocampos was picked off by Olaza and it fell to Orellana. The Chilean winger played in Guardiola but the striker – with just one goal to his credit this season – dragged his shot dreadfully wide.
Crossing the hour mark, El-Yamiq beat half-time replacement Acuña to get a header on target, but it was tame in nature and easily handled by Bono.
As Sergio began to lock down the defence to protect the valuable lead, he removed Rubén Alcaraz in favour of Míchel and Roque Mesa made way for Fede San Emeterio. Both exiting players showed their disgust in the change and the latter had every right to, as the former Sevilla man had been Real Valladolid’s most accomplished player on the ball.
Sevilla fashioned a golden opportunity to level the score with a little under 15 minutes remaining. Koundé and Ocampos linked up well on the right, resulting in the Argentinian swinging a quality cross to the back post. Substitute de Jong arrived and, with the goal at his mercy, somehow managed to head the ball onto the post from a yard out. This let-off made it seem, just possibly, that Pucela were going to spring the upset on their opponents.
Seven minutes from time, Sergio made a triple swap; Kenan Kodro for Weissman, Bruno replaced Plano and Kike Pérez in relief of Orellana. It looked like it had been enough to see Pucela over the line as Sevilla bickered and bemoaned their way through a disjointed 45 minutes. However, in the 94th minute, a lapse in concentration in defence from Suso’s corner allowed En-Nesyri to recover the ball from going out and cut it back into the forest of legs in the box. Two of those legs belonged to the Sevilla goalkeeper who had come forward in support and he used his left one to sweep the ball past the disbelieving home defence to rescue an unlikely point with the final touch of the match.
It was a cruel, crushing blow for Real Valladolid. They had certainly been the lesser of the two sides, but had been organised enough to repel Sevilla’s advances and snatch a goal when the opportunity presented itself and - for 93-and-a-half minutes - had maintained the alertness needed to foil their opponents. Just like against Celta three matches earlier, all their efforts were undone with seconds to go.
The upcoming international break may prove to be a blessing or a curse. The extra time without a match will either be a palate-cleanser, spurring them for the trip to Barcelona on April 5th with renewed vigour, or it will prolong the festering rot of resentment from this result and send them to Catalonia psychologically broken.
REAL VALLADOLID (4-4-2): Roberto; Lucas Olaza, Jawad El-Yamiq, Joaquín, Saidy Janko, Fabián Orellana (Kike Pérez 83’), Rubén Alcaraz (Míchel 75’), Roque Mesa (Fede San Emeterio 75’), Óscar Plano (Capt.) (Bruno González 83’), Sergi Guardiola, Shon Weissman (Kenan Kodro 83’).
Subs unused: Jordi Masip; Lucas Pérez, Javi Sánchez, Nacho, Toni Villa, Waldo Rubio.
SEVILLA (4-3-3): Yassine Bono; Karim Rekik, Diego Carlos, Jules Koundé, Jesús Navas, Oliver Torres, Joan Jordán, Nemanja Gudelj, Pau Gómez, Youssef En-Nesyri, Suso.
Subs unused: Tomas Vaclik, Javier Díaz; Joris Gnagnon, Sergi Gómez, Sergio Escudero, Marcos Acuña, Ivan Rakitić, Óscar Rodríguez, Franco Vázquez, Lucas Ocampos, Luuk de Jong, Munir El Haddadi.
Referee: Xavier Estrada