El Centrocampista

Michel and Sevilla still dreaming of an unlikely charge on Europe


Sevilla seem to have put their recent goalscoring problems behind them as they scored three goals for the second consecutive game, this time during  a 3-0 victory over Andaluz rivals Granada at Los Cármenes on Monday.

The victory came four days after they had fired three past Racing Santander at el Sardinero and leaves Míchel’s side harbouring distant dreams of an unlikely fourth spot this season.  Sitting in ninth place, eight points behind Malaga, a Europa League berth is probably a more realistic target for Sevilla but it shows just how quickly things can change in football.

A brace for Manu Del Moral and another from Álvaro Negredo sealed the points for the away side and Míchel will be delighted that Negredo is back scoring goals after his long injury lay off. As for Del Moral, he has now scored four goals in two games, lifting his goal tally for the season up to nine.
The victory was all the more impressive as Granada’s home record against their Andalusian rivals is quite impressive – thadn’t lost to Sevilla at home in five matches before Monday’s game. However in those five games, they’ve only been victorious once themselves.

The home side were without the suspended Carlos Martins so coach Abel Resino was forced to give Abel Gomez his debut, while for SevillaDiego Perotti who was impressive last week against Racing, missed out through injury. His place was taken by José Reyes who has had a mixed run of form in recent matches since returning to his boyhood club in January from Atletico Madrid.

The home side kept the ball well in midfield and looked dangerous for long periods of the game, leaving Resino even more frustrated by the defeat. Sevilla goalkeeper Palop had to be on top form to keep out several goal bound attempts from the Granada forwards and the home side were the better side during the first half of the game. Despite this, it was their visitors who broke the deadlock just past the half hour mark when Álvaro Negredo’s sumptuous dink gave the onrushing Roberto little chance in the Granada goal. The much criticised Reyes delivered the defence-splitting pass that sent Negredo through on goal.

Jésus Navas’ put in yet another impressive display and his recent form may well put him in the transfer shop window during the summer as top European clubs look to bring in new faces. Navas was a constant threat on the right wing, giving Granada’s highly-rated Brazilian left back Guilhermen Siqueria a torrid time.

To their credit, Granada responded well and came out with all guns blazing in the second half. Unfortunately this also left huge gaps in their defence and Sevilla soon capitalised to all but finish the game. Álvaro Negredo was at the heart of the move again as his pass into the box found Manu Del Moral whose first touch with his right foot cushioned the ball into the path of his left and he unleashed a deadly strike into the corner of the goal.

The strike knocked the stuffing out of Granada who will have considered themselves unlucky to be two goals down in a game they had arguably been the better side in. The hosts had their chances to get back into the game again but a combination of good defending and excellent goal keeping kept them at bay. However despite their efforts, it was Michel’s side who looked more likely to score as the Granada defence lost all shape and cohesion. And so this proved to be the case with seconds remaining whenManu Del Moral bagged his second of the match. It summed up a miserable night for Granada who remain in seventeenth, just six points above the relegation zone.

Sevilla fans will be hoping the current good form continues and their team continues to climb up the table towards the  hoped-for European qualification places.  Both Negredo and Del Moral are finding their scoring touch at the right time of the season and Míchel has also got a goalkeeper at the top of his game, in Palop. Sevilla’s next assignment is at home to Mallorca on Saturday – if Míchel’s side can secure another three points at the Sánchez Pizujuán then who knows where they go.

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