By February 27, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Copa del Rey: 3 Keys to a Sevilla FC Victory over Atletico Madrid


Manuel del Moral Fernandez of Sevilla (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Sevilla FC play host to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Wednesday evening, with a chance to play either Barcelona or Real Madrid on the line. Already down 2-1 in the tie, Unai Emery’s side will need to turn their luck around if they want to have any chance of salvaging something from this season. Currently sitting in 12th in La Liga, Sevilla are on pace for their worst finish in the league in over a decade.

However, all may well be forgiven and forgotten if Emery can bring his side from behind and get a victory over Atletico on Wednesday. The chance to play for silverware against a top side will give the Sevilla faithful a reason to celebrate during a season of much disappointment. In order to come back from their 2-1 deficit, Sevilla will need to play their best soccer of the season. Here are a few keys to the game for Emery’s squad:

Start Strong

If Sevilla want to have any chance of winning the game and advancing to the Copa del Rey final, they absolutely must score the first goal on Wednesday. In the 15 games this season in which they conceded first, Sevilla has only won once. History proves that they do not play well from behind, so adding to their current one goal deficit will certainly put the tie out of reach. Needing a vital away goal to assure their advancing into the final, Atletico Madrid is expected to bring a lot of early pressure in the match. If Sevilla is able to withstand this early pressure, they will give themselves a fighting chance in the match.

The biggest advantage that Emery’s men have in this match is the away goal that they scored in Madrid in the first leg. If they can keep a clean sheet on Wednesday, they will only need to score once to steal a victory and advance.

Contain Falcao

In order to keep the all-important clean sheet, Sevilla will need to be constantly aware of Atletico forward Radamel Falcao. The Colombian has scored 26 goals in all competitions, and is the third leading scorer in La Liga, only behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 27 year old is the focal point of every Atletico attack, so Sevilla’s back four will need to have an eye on the forward at all times. Wherever Falcao roams on the field, players like Federico Fazio and Emir Spahic will need to adjust their defensive strategy to adapt to his movement. In the 17 games in which the Colombian has scored for Atletico this season, his team have only lost twice. To stop Atletico Madrid, Sevilla must stop Falcao.

Attack Through Alvaro Negredo

Like Falcao for Atletico, Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo is vital to his team’s chances of winning. Unai Emery’s side have not won too many times this season, but in the 13 games in which Negredo has scored, they have only lost three. After scoring five goals in four games in late January and early February, the 27 year old has not scored in three games, and was even put on the bench for the start of Sevilla’s weekend fixture with Barcelona. It will be crucial for his team’s chances that Negredo gets back on track and finds his form in time for the match on Wednesday.

To bring themselves back in this tie, Sevilla needs to play through the Spaniard. Negredo scored in the first leg and, while his side still lost 2-1, his away goal could become the deciding factor in this semifinal. The striker has scored in four of his last five Copa del Rey matches, putting him as the joint top scorer for the tournament, so he seems to be finding his goalscoring form when it counts.


While it seems a tough task, Sevilla have a decent chance to advance out of this semifinal. If they can eliminate the threat of Falcao, their chance increases significantly. Expect the home supporters to play a big role in this match, and Emery’s men to sneak out of the tie with a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Alvaro Negredo. A 1-0 win on Wednesday would put Sevilla through on away goals, and into the biggest match of their season in the Copa del Rey final.

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