Looking to avoid elimination from the UEFA Champions League (UCL), Sevilla scrapped to a 2-0 victory over Group G rivals VfL Wolfsburg, seeing the Spanish side win their first UCL game at home in their last five, and ensuring that they remain in the hunt for qualification to the knockout round.
The home side, playing with the urgency needed in a ‘lose or go home’ match, piled the pressure on the Wolfsburg back line, and would be rewarded for the high-energy start only 13 minutes into the match. Picking up the ball in a dangerous area, Sevilla skipper Ivan Rakitić played a perfect cross into the box for Joan Jordán, and the midfielder headed home with precision to give ‘Los Nervionenses’ the early advantage. With an early lead in hand, Sevilla dropped their pace and allowed Wolfsburg back into the match, but a Lukas Nmecha shot ringing the crossbar midway through the half would be the closest ‘Die Wölfe’ would come to equalizing before the HT whistle.
The second half played out in a similar fashion to the first, with Sevilla controlling the, admittedly, very slow tempo of the game, without causing any real problems for Pavao Pervan in Wolfsburg’s goal. And while the Bundesliga outfit played most of the match a goal down, there appeared to be little urgency from Florian Kohfeldt’s men to pull themselves back into the proceedings. A 97th minute Rafa Mir goal, with Wolfsburg over committed in search of an equaliser, would be the final nail in the coffin, setting the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán alight and capping off a hard-fought performance from Julen Lopetegui’s men.
The gutsy home victory saw the Seville side collect their first win against German opposition since 2015, and more importantly keeps them within two points of the top spot in Group G heading into the final matchday. However, the win may not come as a great surprise for Sevilla, as Wolfsburg had won only three of their last ten UCL matches away from home heading into today’s clash.