Sevilla defeated Fiorentina 3-0 at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final, with Aleix Vidal scoring two and assisting for Kevin Gameiro to add gloss to the scoreline late on.
Like the UEFA Champions League matches the previous two evenings, the match was played at a frantic pace. I Viola did not play like the away side, and ended the match with as many shots than their Spanish opposition.
However, Vincenzo Montella’s men were wasteful in front of goal – particularly in the first half – and paid the price.
Sevilla took the lead through Vidal after 17 minutes, who slotted home a calm finish after a typically ruthless counterattack.
Despite a congested penalty area, the fifth placed team in La Liga managed to lay the ball off to Vidal on the edge of the box, and he made no mistake.
The Spaniard played at right back this evening, but is usually deployed further forward – and his attacking prowess showed.
Fiorentina had a host of chances themselves, but were unable to get the equaliser they probably deserved – Matias Fernandez was particularly guilty of profligacy, firing over from just six yards out with the goal gaping before half time.
Sevilla begun the second period where they left off, and Vidal was once again at the forefront.
The 25 year-old was sent free on the right flank, having bombed forward once again, but this time his finish did not need to be so precise. Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto – linked with Liverpool in recent weeks – predicted that the shot would be aimed at the far post, and dived that way early. Vidal simply hit a low shot into the vacated centre of the goal.
If Fiorentina could simply convert one of their numerous chances, the away goal would make a huge difference, but they weren’t able to do so.
Once again, Sevilla picked them off, with Kevin Gameiro scoring with his first touch of the match – smartly deflecting in Vidal’s cross after 82 minutes.
Gameiro has always been something of a fox-in-the-box player, but has often been criticised for his lack of participation in build-up play. In this instance, it wasn’t necessary, leaving the result of the match – and perhaps the tie – beyond dispute.