Evening all! Our final La Liga match of the evening comes from the Estadio Ramon as Sevilla
welcome Atletico Madrid
in arguably, on paper at least, the game of the weekend. It hasn’t been an ideal summer of transfer business for Sevilla, but Atletico have managed to pick up arguably the signing of the summer – Spain’s record goalscorer David Villa from Barcelona.
Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas both swapped Sevilla for Manchester City this summer, but Unai Emery has managed to add Kevin Gameiro and Marko Marin, who both have something to prove in the new season. It is not too difficult to see where Sevilla struggled last season with 40 of their 50 points coming on their home patch. In fact, only Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid won more points at home last season than Sevilla.
Atletico, meanwhile, enter the season off the back of a Copa del Rey success and third-place finish. Top scorer from last season Radamel Falcao sought pastures new with Monaco, but Villa has arrived to provide genuine quality in the final third. It is games like this that they were winning last season, but teams will be wiser to Diego Simeone’s side this time around.
SEVILLA: Beto; Coke, Fazio, Pareja, Moreno; Iborra, Rakitic; Vitolo, Marin, Perotti; Bacca
ATLETICO: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Luis; Gabi, Suarez; Turan, Koke, Costa; Villa
So there we have it. Carlos Bacca leads the line for the home side this evening with Kevin Gameiro, who arrived from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, named on the bench. Atletico, meanwhile, hand a league debut to David Villa, who joined from Barcelona. Right, the away side get the action underway on this mild evening in Sevilla.
New-look Sevilla team this season with a number of arrivals and departures. However, aside from Falcao, it is the same Atletico team from the previous campaign. Not the best start for Turan as the Turkish international picks up a yellow card for a deliberate handball outside the penalty area.
Half-chance from the resulting free kick, but Godin rises to clear Rakitic's set piece inside the box. First sign of Costa for the away side as the Brazilian collects possession before bursting into the opposing half, but Fazio is across to quell the danger. I have a feeling that we could be in for a real cracker this evening.
Early free kick for Atletico as Luis is felled outside the box by Marin. The resulting set piece is delivered into the area by Koke, but Fazio is on hand to clear under pressure from Miranda. Turan turns it back into the Sevilla box, but Beto is out to clear. Lively opening six minutes to this La Liga fixture at the Estadio Ramon.
It's wonderful work from Marin as the on-loan Chelsea midfielder darts into the Atletico box before turning past Miranda, but he just cannot find an effort on goal with Juanfran across to clear the danger. Bacca is next to threaten the away side with a powerful run, but Godin comes across to quell the threat.
Not much of a flow at the moment with both sides threatening with set pieces rather than flowing football. Turan attempts to force the issue for the away side as he combines with Costa before striking an effort towards goal, but it was always moving wide of the post. Still no clear opportunities for either side with 10 minutes on the clock at the Estadio Ramon.
Costa calls for a penalty as the Atletico forward hits the deck inside the box, but the referee is not interested. Prior to that, it was good work from Turan down the left, but he could not find the run of Koke on the opposite wing. No sign of containment at the moment with both sides prepared to commit players to each attack.
It must be said that it is a surprise not to see Kondogbia in the Sevilla side this evening. The Frenchman is a reported target for a number of Premier League clubs, with his release clause understood to be in the region of £8m. Is it a case of out of sight, out of mind? One thing is for certain, the youngster is a serious talent.
Not too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last couple of moments with both sides just struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. Bright work from Villa comes close to presenting an opportunity to Koke, but the Spaniard just loses his footing at the vital moment. Still goalless with 16 minutes on the clock.
Half-chance for the away side once more as Juanfran floats a wonderful cross into the box, but it just evaded Turan, who had made a late run into the box. Much better from Atletico in the last couple of moments with Villa and Costa starting to see more of the ball. You just get the feeling that the first goal could be decisive this evening.
Good possession from Atletico as Diego Simeone's side continue to pass and probe outside the Sevilla penalty area. However, the Copa del Rey holders have been unable to find that elusive pass in the final third. Koke attempts to find the run of Costa moments later, but Beto comes out to claim with relative ease.
Not too much to report in the last couple of moments, although Sevilla have just started to pass their way back into the match. A mazy run from Moreno threatens to cause problems in the Atletico box, but Mario Suarez is on hand to make a fine last-ditch challenge.
CROSSBAR! Sevilla come close to opening the scoring as Bacca meets a cross from Coke, but his header rattles off the crossbar. What a start to his league career that would have been. One-way traffic at the moment with the home side starting to dominate the midfield area.
POST! Best chance of the match for the away side as Villa finds space on the edge of the box before curling an effort towards the top corner, but Beto just manages to push it onto the post. End-to-end football in the last few moments, but somehow the score remains goalless. The action has lived up to the pre-match billing thus far.
Another half-chance for the away side as Costa collects a pass from Juanfran before striking an effort towards the bottom corner, but Fazio comes across to make the block. The pressure continues as Koke delivers another cross towards Villa, but Pareja clears. It really is spicing up inside this famous stadium.
Atletico continue to force the issue in the final third as Gabi strikes one from outside the box, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. The threat from Sevilla has just diminished once more with Atletico probing outside the box. It is just so delicately poised with 32 minutes on the clock.
Again it is really bright work from Juanfran as the right-back wins possession down the right before attempting to find Villa in the box, but Coke is across to make the challenge. Luis fires a cross into the Sevilla box moments later, but once more Beto is out to collect. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining.
GOAL! Sevilla 0-1 Atletico (Costa)
Atletico take the lead! It's a wonderful delivery from Koke, who flashes a corner into the box, Costa makes no mistake from close range as he sends his side 1-0 ahead at the Estadio Ramon. In truth, it had been coming. Atletico have taken control in the last 10 minutes or so.
GOAL! Sevilla 1-1 Atletico (Perotti)
London buses?! You wait all day for one and two come along at once. It is a special strike from Perotti as the Argentine collects a pass from Iborra before thumping an effort into the top corner. Oh how Sevilla needed that before the interval.
The match has well and truly warmed up now with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges in the middle of the park. The Sevilla supporters were silenced five minutes ago, but now they are creating a sensational atmosphere. A half-chance comes to Gabi moments later, but he can only fire wide of the post.
Slight problem for Pareja as the Argentine hits the deck following a challenge with Costa, but it does appear that the Sevilla defender will be fit to continue. Where on earth has this first period gone? It has just flown past. Wonderful entertainment in Sevilla with the two sides level at 1-1 with 43 minutes on the clock.
Not too much to report in the latter stages of the first period with both sides preparing to enter the break on terms. It is getting more difficult for the referee, meanwhile, as the challenges continue to fly in from both sets of players. This is a proper La Liga contest there is no question about that.
HALF-TIME: Sevilla 1-1 Atletico
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 1-1. Atletico were ahead after 35 minutes courtesy of a close-range strike from Costa, but Perotti levelled for Sevilla moments later. Bit of afters with Costa and Rakitic as both sets of players leave the pitch.
STATISTICS: Sevilla have just shaded the possession with 56%, but they have managed just two attempts to Atletico's four. On the balance of play, however, the home side do deserve to be level. It is so delicately poised ahead of the second period.
The home side have a host of attacking talent on the bench in the shape of Bryan Rabello, Kevin Gameiro and Jairo. Meanwhile, Atletico are also not short of options with Adrian Lopez, Cristian Rodriguez
and new signing Leo Baptistao among their substitutes this evening.
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. There have been no changes for either side at the interval, which is not a surprise based on what we have seen thus far. You just get the feeling that the next goal could be crucial in this type of match. The home side get the half underway.
Excuse me, there has been one change at the interval with Kondogbia entering the field in place of Pareja, who was struggling with injury in the latter stages of the first period. Bright start from the home side as Moreno advances down the left, but his cross is straight into the arms of Courtois.
This is the type of match that Atletico would have won last season even without playing well. Can they grind out three points in this one? If they seriously want to challenge at the top end of the table, then they have to start well this season. However, it has been the home side that have started the second period the brighter.
Sloppy period of the match in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. However, in fairness, it has not been that type of game. Not too much from Atletico in the second period thus far with Villa and Costa struggling for service in the final third.
Good possession for Sevilla as this second period continues to gather pace with Kondogbia providing more of a presence in the middle of midfield. However, you always fancy Atletico to deal with each long ball into their penalty box. It is the type of match that could be decided by the next goal - if there indeed is one.
CHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for Vitolo to score on his debut as the Sevilla midfielder bursts into the box, but the can only fire his effort wide of the post. He simply had to go across the goalkeeper. That could be a big moment in this match.
Atletico continue to soak up the pressure from the home side, but they are struggling to create an opportunity of their own. In truth, the second period has been a slight non-event thus far with Sevilla enjoying possession without really threatening to take the lead. Marin does have an effort from distance moments later, but Courtois makes a fine save.
Atletico look to their bench for the first time this evening as Oliver enters the field in place of Turan, who has just struggled in the second period. I suspect that we could see Adrian Lopez in the next 10 minutes or so should the score remain level. Little under 30 minutes of action remaining at the Estadio Ramon.
CHANCE! Atletico come close to taking the lead as Luis strikes a powerful effort from outside the box, but Beto just manages to make a save down to his left. Costa collects the rebound, but the flag had been raised. You just get the feeling that there is a goal left in this.
Sevilla make their second change of the match as Israel enters the field in place of Iborra, who had been struggling with an injury in the last couple of minutes. It is a surprise that we have not seen Gameiro, but I suspect he will be given a chance in the latter chances on what would be his home debut for Sevilla.
Half-chance for Bacca as the Sevilla forward collects a pass from Marin before driving into the box, but Luis is across to make a fine challenge at the vital moment. There is a reason why Atletico had the best defensive record in the league last season. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining at the Estadio Ramon.
Another half-chance for the home side as Kondogbia finds Marin down the left, but his effort is blocked by Miranda. Not too much quality on display at the moment, meanwhile, with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. Little over 20 minutes of action remaining on this warm evening in Sevilla.
Perotti is again involved for the home side as he collects possession outside the box before delivering a cross towards Bacca, but it was always too long for the forward. Atletico look to their bench once more as Villa exits the field for Leo, who joined the capital side from Rayo Vallecano in the summer.
It's wonderful feet from Oliver inside the box as the Atletico attacker drives past Fazio before attempting to find Costa inside the box, but the danger is cleared at the vital moment. Sevilla cannot get out of their own half at the moment with the away side in control of proceedings.
Sevilla make their third and final change moments later as Gameiro enters the field in place of Bacca, who has had a lively debut this evening. Rakitic has a half-chance moments later after collecting a pass from Marin inside the box, but the Croatian's effort is straight into the arms of Courtois.
A free kick from Koke threatens to catch Beto out with the Sevilla stopper forced to palm behind. The resulting corner is met by the head of Miranda, but this time his effort moves high and wide of the crossbar. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining at the Estadio Ramon. Will we have a winner?
One-way traffic at the moment with Atletico forcing the issue in the final third. Leo has a half-chance inside the box after good work from Oliver, but the Brazilian just loses his footing at the vital moment. Surely Sevilla are going to be made to regret the number of free kicks that they are giving away outside their penalty box.
GOAL! Sevilla 1-2 Atletico (Costa)
Brilliant, just brilliant from Costa. The Brazilian has his second of the evening as he collects a pass from Gabi before finishing under the onrushing Beto. He has been unplayable at times in this match. Can Atletico hold on for the three points?
Another half-chance for Costa as the Brazilian beats the offside trap before finding Leo inside the box, but his compatriot cannot control at the vital moment. Atletico make their third change of the match moments later as Koke is replaced by Rodriguez.
Half-chance for the home side this time as Marin collects possession in the box before attempting to slide a pass towards Rakitic, but Miranda is across to clear for a corner. Atletico are quite possibly one of the worst teams to play against when you are behind. They are just so compact.
Leo has the opportunity to score on his league debut for Atletico as he finds space inside the box before striking towards goal, but Beto is on hand to collect at the vital moment. You just get the feeling that there is one last chance in this match, but for who? Little over three minutes of normal time remaining.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with Atletico quelling the threat from the home side. You just wondered whether Simeone's side would have enough about them to grind out a result this evening. Well, they are a couple of minutes away from what would be a big three points at this stage of the season.
Half-chance for the home side as Rakitic is presented with a free kick outside the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Courtois. Meanwhile, the fourth official has indicated that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. Time is running out for Sevilla.
GOAL! Sevilla 1-3 Atletico (Rodriguez)
Atletico wrap up the points in the latter stages as Rodriguez drives into the box before thumping his effort into the bottom corner. Stunning finish from the substitute. That is game, set and match.
FULL-TIME: Sevilla 1-3 Atletico
So there we have it. Wonderful start to the season from Atletico as the Copa del Rey winners pick up all three points against Sevilla. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for three more La Liga commentaries tomorrow evening. Until then!