Sevilla beat Angers SCO 6-0 in their third pre-season friendly, retaining the good feeling they had at times given off in previous games against Tottenham and Sporting CP. In a different context, with the game played behind closed doors, and against an equally different rival, Lopetegui’s men did not give up on their idea of the game and were serious from the first minute. They pressed hard and made long ball possessions. A vertical and deep style. The trademark of the Basque coach was even more noticeable, if possible, in this match which also served to distribute minutes and which started early, against the Sevillians.
The scoreboard already reflected a 2-0 lead at the break, thanks to goals from Ocampos and En-Nesyri.
Papu Gómez emerged as a conductor in the first half in which he enjoyed freedom in midfield, linking play in front of the double pivot of Jordán and Delaney. Already in the second half, changing composition over the minutes, the Sevillians moved up a gear without this preventing the goals from succeeding. Tecatito Corona, Lamela, Óliver Torres and Iván Romero significantly increased Sevilla’s advantage in a game that helped build confidence and face a new phase of pre-season.
As in previous friendlies, Sevilla’s starting XI was defensively conditioned by squad limitations, with Rekik and Gudelj having to form a pair in the center of defence.
From the first minutes, we saw a Sevilla with a lot of mobility in front. He was looking to get closer to the rival area, with the forward lines, but without managing to test Fofana. The Sevillians’ first shot on goal was taken by Delaney with a low cross shot that went wide.
Lopetegui’s men were testing their rival. They imposed their game at will, which meant that Angers did not appreciate possession. With such a panorama, Sevilla’s first goal was not long in coming. It was in the 11th minute, when Papu Gómez changed the game from the left wing, seeing Montiel rise from the right. The winger controlled the ball with his chest, lowered it and helped Ocampos already inside the box so he could define perfectly against Fofana. Argentinian combination for Sevilla to get the first goal of the afternoon on their second chance of the game.
Lopetegui’s plan was maintained despite the goal. His team continued with this suffocating high pressure, which imposed itself on the physical power of the French team, which struggled to enter the rival peloton. On the other hand, Sevilla played and played until they found the gaps that would allow them to extend their advantage. El Papu led the game and his boots resulted in Sevilla’s second goal. Chopped cross at the far post of the left wing which reached Gudelj, who killed En-Nesyri. Just by putting his foot, the Moroccan sent the ball into the back of the net and made it 2-0 in the 17th minute.
As after Sevilla’s first goal, Angers tried to react. He wanted to keep possession of the ball more, instead of desperately looking for the long pass. This had little effect as at each stage they came up against a very well planted Sevilla defence.
After a break for hydration, the strengths of both teams were evenly matched, with Sevilla having dropped gear and Angers stepping forward in search of goal. In these came the first chance for the French team, thanks to a shot on goal that Dmitrovic saved without problems.
Lopetegui did not wait for the break to move the bench. Local players José Ángel Carmona and Pablo Pérez reshaped the defensive line in place of Rekik and Acuña, two of the players who accumulated the most minutes in these first pre-season friendlies. After that, the game with Angers continued to take on greater importance as a Sevilla joined the lines and kept the pressure high, forcing their rivals to look for the long pass. In one of those attempts, Diony nearly put Dmitrovic in trouble, after winning the backhand against Sevilla’s centre-backs, although José Ángel was quick to get ahead of his rival and prevent him from standing alone facing the Serbian goalkeeper.
Angers had one last chance before the break. Ounahi entered the Sevillian area and Dmitrovic had to use reflexes to block a powerful shot that had previously hit Gudelj’s foot. Sevilla had reduced their importance in the last quarter of an hour, suffering without the ball against a rival who stalked the Sevilla area with increasing danger
This new match scenario hardly changed after the break, without Gérald Baticle or Julen Lopetegui moving the bench excessively. With Bono, Fernando and Iván Romero on the pitch, Sevilla kept the pressure high, but they continued to lack fluidity on the ball. Angers came alive and even scored in the 49th minute, although the goal did not go up on the scoreboard due to a previous offside. A few minutes later, the French again had a great chance. A cross from Ounahi forces Bono to put on his gloves and clear the ball, reaffirming Sevilla’s pain when the team lacks possession.
Without being at their best, Sevilla’s third goal came. Ocampos galloped to the right until he stepped onto the box, seeing Tecatito’s arrival inside and handing the ball to the Mexican to score the third with Fofana already defeated. A new goal from Sevilla which lowered the morale of an Angers determined to turn the tide and which allowed Lopetegui’s men to return to the field, forcing their rival to forfeit.
The Sevilla manager then introduced six new changes and, with the team on the attack, it didn’t take long to score again. It was in the 64th minute, after several offensive insistences. Iván Romero found Jesús Navas, who came from the right. The captain lifted his head and kicked a low pass to the near post which the young striker let pass for the ball to reach Lamela, who turned to score his team’s fourth goal.
Angers had their best chance after a defeat by Suso in which the Cadiz-born player called for a foul, although the rival shot went past Sevilla’s goal. From there, the France team gained meters. However, just when the Nervionenses weren’t comfortable, the fifth goal came. After a counter drive from left to right, the ball reached Jesús Navas, who launched a low cross into the area which was not touched by any Angevin defender and was caught by Óliver Torres to achieve the fifth against Fofana.
The sevillista rout was closed shortly after, three minutes from the end, by Iván Romero. The youth team headed in a new Navas cross from the right, scoring the sixth goal of the afternoon and the finishing touch in a game against a more grounded rival.
With this 6-0, the Sevillians ended their friendly matches in Portuguese lands accumulating good feelings after displaying a good game in which the game ideas that the Sevilla coach is looking for in his team were clear. After this clash, Sevilla will continue their routine in Lagos and travel to England on Friday afternoon to continue their planned route for this pre-season.