Stuttgart 1-3 Sevilla: Efficient Andalucians Put Slack Hosts To The Sword
Sevilla taught Stuttgart the value of taking one’s chances as a Sebastien Squillaci double and a Jesus Navas strike saw the Spanish outfit oust their German opponents.
It was the hosts that started the brighter with Julian Schieber and Cacau looking threatening up front and the Schwaben had the ball in the net when Zdravko Kuzmanovic scored from outside the box but an offside Schieber had interferred with Varas’ view and the goal was disallowed.
Then Sevilla began to show their class with some slick passing and fluid movement and Luis Fabiano and Jesus Navas began to shine.
Although the Germans were probably still on top in the early stages Squaillaci popped up to head home from Adriano’s cross after a quick short corner after just 23 minutes.
The goal was against the run of play and heads could have dropped for the struggling Bundesliga side but Markus Babbel’s men continued to play some good football and Aliaksandr Hleb fired an effort from distance before Kuzmanovic and Schieber kept a shaky Javi Varas busy.
The visitors began to find their rhythm as the half drew to a close and despite the withdrawal of Brazilian hitman Luis Fabiano at the interval, they started the second half with real intent and were two goals to the good ten minutes in when Navas tapped home after Jens Lehmann parried substitute Diego Perotti’s cross straight into his path.
Frederic Kanoute should have put the tie beyond all doubt midway through the second half but failed to take advantage after beating the Stuttgart offside trap.
Babbel made a treble substitution in an effort to get his side back into the tie and a goal soon came, but it was at the wrong end as Sevilla struck for a third. Squillaci claimed his second goal of the game and ensured all three points for the visitors as he nodded home from a Ivica Dragutinovic cross.
Then Stuttgart found a goal just a minute later, Elson, who was on for Hleb fired a fantastic effort from at least 30 yards which Varas had no chance of stopping. The Brazilian could have added a second minutes later but his spectacular overhead effort went well wide.
Sevilla seemed happy to sit back in the final quarter hour and the Germans were glad to continue to press forward. Schieber should have scored after a latching onto a sloppy pass from Navas but he hit the side netting and Serdar Tasci smashed a volley against Varas’ crossbar in stoppage time but they failed to get a second.
Stuttgart can feel hard done by as the had produced the better football over the ninety minutes, dominating possession and creating the better chances but Manolo Jimenez’s men did what the home side failed to do, taking their chances clinically and defending admirably to maintain their 100 per cent start to their Champions League campaign.