Apr 24, 2014 at 8.05pm UK at ​Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Sevilla
2-0
Valencia
Mbia (33'), Bacca (36')
Marin (72')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Alcacer (88'), Mathieu (90')

Live Commentary: Sevilla 2-0 Valencia - as it happened

Live Commentary: Sevilla 2-0 Valencia - as it happened
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the first leg of the Europa League semi-final at the Estadio Ramon as Sevilla beat Valencia 2-0.

The first leg of the Europa League semi-final between Sevilla and Valencia took place at the Estadio Ramon this evening.

Strikes from Stephane Mbia and Carlos Bacca left the home side with a two-goal lead at the interval.

Both teams had chances to add to the scoring in an end-to-end second period, but the score remained 2-0 ahead of the second leg at the Mestalla next week.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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7.31pmEvening all! Sports Mole's Europa League coverage resumes this evening as Sevilla welcome Valencia to the Estadio Ramon for the first leg of their semi-final. The two teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition this season, but certainly know each other well from La Liga. It promises to be a fascinating affair in Seville. Right, the team news has already filtered through...

7.34pmTEAMS:

SEVILLA: Beto; Diogo, Pareja, Fazio, Navarro; Carrico, Mbia; Reyes, Rakitic, Vitolo; Bacca

VALENCIA: Guaita; Pereira, Fuego, Mathieu, Bernat; Keita, Parejo; Feghouli, Fede, Vargas; Alcacer


7.37pmSevilla are without Coke this evening due to suspension, while Alberto Moreno misses out with an ankle issue. There is a place in attack for Jose Antonio Reyes, however, with the Spaniard providing support to leading scorer Carlos Bacca. Valencia, meanwhile, welcome Javi Fuego back into their XI following a domestic ban. Diego Alves and Victor Ruiz remain on the sidelines, but Paco Alcacer and Fede Cartabia both start in Seville.

7.40pmIn total, the two sides have met 207 times in all competitions, with Valencia winning 95 times to Sevilla's 77. In terms of the recent meetings, both have won two of the last five matches, with the further clash ending in a draw. As mentioned, the pair have already met twice in the league this season, with Valencia winning 3-1 at the Mestalla, before a goalless draw in this stadium. The atmosphere is building...



7.43pmSevilla made it to this stage after finishing top of Group H ahead of Sloven Liberec. They overcame Maribor 4-3 on aggregate in the first knockout stage, before beating local rivals Real Betis on penalties in the round of 16. They then faced much-fancied Porto in the quarter-finals, but won 4-2 on aggregate. The Spanish outfit are chasing their third success in this competition having won the tournament in both 2006 and 2007.



7.46pmUnai Emery's side also enter the match in strong form having won seven of their last eight games in the league. That run of form has moved them into fifth position in La Liga and on the cusp of the top four. Indeed they travel to fourth-place Athletic Bilbao this weekend and could move level on points with the Basque outfit with three points. It is shaping up to be some end to the season for the Seville outfit.

7.49pmSevilla have faced Spanish opposition 10 times in UEFA competition, with their record standing at won three, drawn three and lost four. Valencia's 13 games against Spanish opposition in Europe, meanwhile, is six wins, three draws and four defeats. Just a reminder that the second leg will take place at the Mestalla next week.

7.52pmValencia made it to this stage of the competition by topping Group A ahead of Premier League outfit Swansea City. They were paired with Dynamo Kiev in the first knockout round and overcame the Ukrainian outfit 2-0, before moving past Ludogorets in the round of 16. They lost the first leg of their quarter-final 3-0 to Basel, but won 5-0 in Spain to advance into the final four. It was some turnaround in the second leg.

7.55pmValencia's league form has dipped in recent weeks, however, with the former Spanish champions winning just one of their last five in La Liga. They are 14 points behind fifth-place Sevilla in La Liga and a top-seven finish looks unlikely, with Villarreal seven points ahead in seventh place. They have won just three times in the league on their travels this season, meanwhile, losing eight times in the process.

7.58pmPREDICTION: Little over five minutes until kickoff, which means that it is just about time for my pre-match prediction. There is no question that Sevilla enter this match in the stronger form, but Valencia have the players that could hurt the home side this evening. That said, I just cannot see past a home victory. My score prediction is 2-0 Sevilla, which would set things up nicely for the second leg.

8.01pmIt must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening, which is not a surprise. Valencia have sold out their allocation, while the home supporters have turned out in their numbers. Spain will indeed be represented in the Europa League final this season, but by who?

8.03pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first leg this European affair. Following the completion of the handshakes and exchanging of flags, we will be ready to get the action underway.



0 minYou just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - will be vital this evening. It is the type of tie where away goals could play a major part. Both managers have sent out attacking teams in Seville. Right, the away side get the first 45 minutes of action underway. Let's hope for an entertaining tie.

2 minBright start from the away side as Pereira takes control down the right before sliding a low pass towards Vargas, but Fazio is across to clear. Sevilla are down the other end moments later with Bacca, but the Colombian forward is challenged by Diogo at the final moment. End-to-end football at the Estadio Ramon.

4 minCHANCE! The first real chance of the match falls to Valencia as Fuego meets a corner from Parejo, but his header is straight into the arms of Beto. Extremely positive start from the away side, who have already forced a couple of corners. No sign of either side taking it easy in the early exchanges.

6 minNot too much to report in terms of clear attacking pressure from Sevilla, but the home side have started to see more of the ball in the last couple of moments. Bacca once more threatens to collect a through pass from Rakitic, but the forward was once more in an offside position. Still goalless, but an open affair thus far.

8 minNervous piece of defending from Fazio as the Sevilla centre-back takes a chance by dribbling on the edge of his own box, but he just manages to ride a challenge before Parejo fells the Argentine. Sevilla are down the other end with Vitolo moments later, but his low cross is cleared by Bernat as the home side force a corner.

10 minThere really is a deafening noise inside the stadium at the moment as both sides continue to threaten. Valencia have a half-chance on the counter as Fede drives into the box before striking towards goal, but his effort is straight at Beto. Hardly time to take a breath at the moment as Sevilla break moments later.

13 minThe referee has done well to keep the match flowing in the last couple of minutes following a number of late challenges from both sides. Not too much to report in terms of clear chances, but Rakitic continues to look the most likely for the home side as he threatens to collect a through pass from Diogo, only for Guaita to claim at the final moment. Down the other end, Fede crosses straight into the arms of Sevilla stopper Beto.

15 minHalf-chance for Valencia as Pereira drives down the right before firing a low cross towards Vargas, but the forward catches Carrico and Sevilla have a free kick. The home side threaten moments later through Reyes, but the Spaniard is forced inside and the danger is cleared. It is like a basketball match at the moment!

17 minHalf-chance for Sevilla on the counter as Rakitic leads a three-on-two counter. The Croatian slides a low pass to Bacca, who cuts inside, but Mathieu is across to clear at the vital moment. Valencia are down the other end with Alcacer moments later and the Spaniard brings a flying save from Beto. Still goalless.

19 minI am struggling to remember the last time I saw a match that had this level of intensity. There has been hardly any possession in the middle of the park, rather both sides moving from back to front as soon as possible. The atmosphere inside the stadium is certainly contributing to matters on the field.

22 minAnother half-chance arrives for Valencia from a wide position as Fede delivers a wicked cross towards the far post, but Alcacer cannot beat Beto to the ball and Sevilla regain possession. Still the match has not settled, with hardly any passing and probing occurring. That said, clear chances have been at a premium.

24 minIt's bright work from Vargas as the Valencia forward combines with Keita on the edge of the Sevilla box before attempting to loft a pass beyond Fazio, but the centre-back is on hand to clear the danger. Valencia's threat continues to arrive in wide areas, meanwhile, with Fede and Feghouli both extremely advanced. Little under 24 minutes on the clock and still no booking, which is a surprise due to the intensity on display.

26 minQuick thinking from Rakitic almost releases Bacca for the home side, but the referee demands a re-take of the free kick and Valencia are allowed to get men behind the ball. Valencia deliver a free kick of their own towards the edge of the Sevilla box moments later, but towering defender Fazio rises above Vargas to clear.

28 minNeither side can keep the ball at the moment as another attack breaks down in the Sevilla half. That allows the home side to counter, but Rakitic's low cross is cleared by Pereira. Challenges continue to fly in from all angles, but the referee is not interested. It is a quite remarkable match, but clear chances have been at a premium thus far. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining at the Estadio Ramon.

29 minCHANCE! Sevilla's best chance of the match falls to Fazio as the Argentine meets a corner from Rakitic, but the centre-back's header just drops wide of the post. Big opportunity for the home side.

30 minCHANCE! Rakitic is again involved for Sevilla as the Croatian slides a low pass into Bacca, who turns inside the Valencia box before striking towards goal, but his effort is just wide.

32 minThe league match between the two sides in this stadium earlier this season finished goalless, but I would be surprised if that was the case this evening. Not with the intensity that both teams are showing. Sevilla have just started to take control, however, with Rakitic more and more involved in advanced areas.

33 minGOAL! Sevilla 1-0 Valencia (MBia)

34 minSevilla take the lead with 33 minutes on the clock as MBia turns a dangerous Rakitic free kick into the back of the net from close range. Carrico appeared to make contact with his head, but it was the on-loan QPR midfielder that converted. Incredible scenes at the Estadio Ramon! The deadlock has finally been broken.

36 minCONTROVERSIAL! Replays have shown that MBia was in an offside position when he turned Carrico's header into the back of the net. Valencia had every right to be furious with the award.

36 minGOAL! Sevilla 2-0 Valencia (Bacca)

37 minSevilla have their second of the match just three minutes after their first as Bacca drives into the Valencia box before striking one into the bottom corner. Sensational finish from the Colombian!

39 minWhat on earth just happened? Chances were few and far between before Sevilla scored twice in the space of three minutes. Valencia are not too sure what to make of it, with their players stunned. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining and the atmosphere inside the stadium is just electric.

42 minIt has been a strong response from Valencia in the last couple of moments, with Fede and Feghouli both threatening in wide positions. The latter collects possession down the right before delivering towards the far post, but Alcacer cannot make up the ground and Sevilla once more have possession with a goal kick.

44 minSlightly untidy period of the match in terms of challenges in the last couple of moments, but still the referee is allowing the play to continue. At this stage of proceedings, one goal for Valencia would put them right back in the tie. However, I have a feeling that Sevilla are not finished on the scoring front here.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Sevilla 2-0 Valencia

8.51pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Sevilla leading 2-0. Mbia opened the scoring after 33 minutes, before Bacca made it 2-0 three minutes later. Valencia have had their moments in an end-to-end first period, but have struggled to create clear openings against an in-form Sevilla outfit.

8.56pmSTATISTICS: The home side have just about shaded the possession with 52%, while they have had five attempts - three of which have been on target. Valencia, meanwhile, have hit the target with two of their four attempts. Remarkably, there has not been a single yellow card despite a host of late tackles.

9.01pmBENCH WATCH: Sevilla have a number of attacking options on their bench this evening in the shape of Gameiro, Iborra, Marin and Jairo, all of whom would make a difference. Valencia, meanwhile, are also well-stocked in forward areas and boast the likes of Jonas, Piatti and Romeu in reserve.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Can Valencia force an away goal? Or will Sevilla add to their two-goal lead? Be sure to remain with Sports Mole for the action. The home side get the second 45 minutes underway inside this deafening stadium.

46 minSUB! One change for Valencia at the interval with Gaya replacing Bernat. I would be surprised if that was a tactical move rather than an enforced one. Sevilla, meanwhile, are unchanged.

48 minBright start to the second period from Valencia as Fede drives down the left before attempting to deliver a cross towards Alcacer, but Fazio is on hand to clear once more. Fede does find Alcacer moments later, but it is the same outcome as Fazio clears for a corner. Positive pressure from the visitors at the Estadio Ramon.

49 minMbia was indeed in an offside position when he turned home from close range. I suspect that Valencia will have something to say about it after the match...



51 minThe half-time interval has done nothing to quell the intensity this evening as both sides continue to exchange attacks. Valencia have a half-chance as Vargas clips a cross towards Feghouli, but the midfielder is ruled offside. Down the other end, Bacca has an effort blocked by Mathieu. What a contest this is!

53 minCHANCE! Valencia have a free kick just outside the Sevilla box as Fazio is penalised for a solid challenge on Feghouli. The set piece is taken by Mathieu, but his effort just drops wide of the post.

55 minOne-way traffic in the last few minutes as Valencia continue to force the issue. Fede's pace allows him to drive down the left, but Reyes is across to make a stunning challenge. There is life in the Spaniard's legs yet! Down the other end, Sevilla gain a free kick as Keita dives into the back of the advancing Rakitic.

57 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for the home side as Fazio finds himself unmarked inside the Valencia box before meeting a free kick from Rakitic, but his effort is straight at Guaita. What a miss!

58 minCHANCE! Another golden chance for Sevilla as Rakitic slides a low pass towards Bacca, who drives into the Valencia box before attempting to beat Guaita, but the stopper makes another save. The home side could be out of sight at this stage of the tie. Somehow Valencia survive and launch another break.

60 minSUB! Valencia make their second change of the match as Piatti enters the field in place of Fede. That is a surprise for me, the youngster had looked the most likely for his side.

60 minSUB! Sevilla make their first change of the match as Marko Marin replaces Reyes, who receives a brilliant ovation from the home supporters. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

62 minI would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals this evening as both sides continue to threaten on the counter. Another half-chance comes to the home side as Vitolo drives a low cross towards Marin, but Pereira is across to clear the danger. In truth, Sevilla could be out of sight in this first leg.

65 minIt must be said that Fazio has been a giant at the heart of the Sevilla defence this evening. Valencia continue to threaten from wide areas, but the Argentine continues to clear. A low cross does find Alcacer moments later, but the Valencia forward can only turn wide of the post. It remains 2-0 to the home side.

67 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Rakitic carries possession into the Valencia half before sliding a low pass towards Marin, who strikes towards goal, but his effort is deflected high of the crossbar. The resulting corner is delivered by Rakitic - who is everywhere at the moment - but Mathieu clears the danger.

69 minCHANCE! Valencia come within a whisker of scoring a vital away goal as Vargas finds some space inside the box before curling one towards the bottom corner, but it just drops wide of the post.

72 minHalf-chance for Valencia as Keita finds some space inside the Sevilla half before sliding a low pass towards Vargas, who threatens to round Beto, but the Sevilla stopper is quick off his line to make the save. Vargas spends a period on the ground following the challenge, but it seems that he will be fit to continue.

72 minBOOKING! Sevilla winger Marin picks up the first yellow card of the match following a late challenge on Parejo.

73 minSUB! Sevilla make their second change of the match as Gameiro enters the field in place of Bacca. Wonderful ovation from the home supporters as the Colombian departs. Not a bad replacement to have.

75 minGameiro comes close to making an instant impact as the Sevilla forward threatens to meet a through pass from Rakitic, but Mathieu just does enough to clear at the vital moment. Little over 15 minutes remaining.

75 minSUB! Valencia make their third and final change as Jonas replaces Feghouli.

77 minAnother half-chance for the away side, who continue to force the issue, as Pereira drives a deep cross to the far post, Piatti makes contact, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Not too much in terms of clear chances for Sevilla in the last couple of minutes, but they remain a serious threat on the counter.

80 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Sevilla as Vitolo takes control of a high ball inside the Valencia box before finding Gameiro, but his powerful effort is blocked by Fuego. Gameiro calls for a penalty, but the referee is not interested. It did strike Fuego's hand, but from very close range.

82 minHalf-chance for Valencia this time as Piatti finds some space outside the Sevilla box before striking towards goal, but his effort is high and wide of the target. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining and still the home side lead 2-0 as the home supporters continue to make their voices known at the Estadio Ramon.

84 minNot too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last couple of minutes, but it is Valencia that continue to threaten from set pieces. Piatti is tasked with delivering from the right, but Fazio rises above Vargas to clear. Sevilla attempt to break, but Gameiro cannot run away from Mathieu at the vital moment.

86 minPossession football from Valencia as they pass and probe outside the Sevilla box, but they just cannot find a way through this stern defence. Eventually Pereira delivers from a wide position, but Fazio clears once more. Little under five minutes of football remaining. Can Valencia force an all-important away goal?

88 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Valencia to open their tally for the evening as Jonas finds some space inside the Sevilla box, but his effort is straight at Beto from close range.

88 minCROSSBAR! Vargas is next to come close for Valencia following a deep cross from Piatti, but his header strikes the crossbar. How on earth have Valencia not scored? Sevilla are holding on here!

89 minBOOKING! Alcacer is booked for Valencia, which rules him out of the second leg next week.

90 minSUB! Sevilla make their third and final change as Vitolo is replaced by Iborra.

90 min+2The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. It just will not go in for Valencia as Sevilla clear their lines once more. Is there time for one final chance? Not for Valencia as Sevilla have possession of the ball.

90 min+2BOOKING! Mathieu is booked for Valencia for chopping Gameiro to the ground. That has wasted a few more valuable seconds. Sevilla will seemingly take a 2-0 lead into the second leg next week.

90 min+3CHANCE! Incredible chance for Sevilla to make it 3-0 as Iborra meets a low cross from Rakitic, but somehow his effort is wide of the post. What an opportunity for the Spaniard!

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Sevilla 2-0 Valencia

9.56pmSo there we have it. Goals from Mbia and Bacca hand Sevilla a 2-0 win in the first leg of this Europa League semi-final. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!

Sevilla's French forward Kevin Gameiro (L) scores during the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs RCD Espanyol at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on April 6, 2014
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