Wednesday February 20 2019
EL: Lazio crash out to Sevilla

Lazio paid for poor finishing and a rejected penalty appeal, as they lost 2-0 to Sevilla, going out of the Europa League 3-0 on aggregate with both teams down to 10 men.

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The Biancocelesti had to overturn a 1-0 home defeat in this second leg of the Europa League Round of 32 and still had a lengthy injury list, missing Luis Alberto, Luiz Felipe, Bastos, Wallace and Valon Berisha, with Marco Parolo and Lucas Leiva not 100 per cent fit. At least Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic were back to bolster the line-up. Sevilla had Ever Banega and Maximilian Wober suspended, plus Maxime Gonalons, Nolito, Joris Gnagnon and Aleix Vidal unavailable.

The hosts lost Sergio Escudero too after six minutes when he suddenly pulled up clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Quincy Promes.

Lazio felt they were denied a penalty when Senad Lulic was sent through the middle and seemed to have his heels clipped by Gabriel Mercado just as he was pulling the trigger from 10 yards. The referee waved play on, there is no VAR in the Europa League and Sevilla scrambled clear.

Moments later, Danilo Cataldi’s free kick skimmed the crossbar, but just as Lazio were piling on the pressure, Sevilla took the lead.

Milinkovic-Savic’s error sparked the move, with Thomas Strakosha’s weak parry from Pablo Sarabia landing at the feet of Wissam Ben Yedder for a tap-in, from much the same position as his goal at the Olimpico. Patric was keeping everyone onside.

Lazio had more chances, but Immobile’s solo effort and a Milinkovic-Savic header on Cataldi’s cross failed to find the target.

Simone Inzaghi introduced Joaquin Correa for a 4-3-3 formation with Adam Marusic at right-back, but Andre Silva’s volley was deflected just past the near post with Strakosha wrong-footed.

Lazio started to push hard, as Cataldi ran on to a Caicedo back-heel flick, rolled across for Immobile and Simon Kjaer risked an own goal with his desperate interception.

Moments later, a ball over the top found centre-back Francesco Acerbi clear on goal, but his volley was sensationally pushed over the bar from close range by Tomas Vaclik.

The pressure got to Sevilla, as ex-Palermo man Vazquez received his second yellow card for a repeated foul on Romulo and left the hosts down to 10 men for the final half-hour.

Romulo and Joaquin Correa both went for the same ball, eventually seeing it go wide, Lulic wasted a good opportunity and Immobile ran on to a Caicedo ball over the top, but his lob beat the goalkeeper only to land on the roof of the net.

Lazio shot themselves in the foot, as they so often do, when Marusic flailed out an arm and Roque Mesa went down dramatically, prompting the referee to flash a straight red card. It was a very, very harsh decision, but also a foolish move from the player in these circumstances.

Instead, Sevilla rediscovered their confidence and doubled their lead. Sarabia scored with his weaker right foot from a very tight angle thanks to an inspired Jesus Navas slide-rule pass. It doomed them to their fourth consecutive Europa League defeat and an early exit from the tournament.

Sevilla 2-0 Lazio (3-0 agg)

Ben Yedder 20 (S), Sarabia 79 (S)

Sevilla: Vaclik; Mercado, Kjaer, Sergi Gomez; Jesus Navas, Vazquez, Roque Mesa (Rog 81), Sarabia, Escudero (Promes 6); Andre Silva (Amadou 64), Ben Yedder

Lazio: Strakosha; Patric (Correa 48), Acerbi, Radu; Marusic, Cataldi, Badelj (Durmisi 76), Milinkovic-Savic (Romulo 56), Lulic; Caicedo, Immobile

Ref: Taylor (ENG)

Sent off: Vazquez 60 (S), Marusic 71 (L)

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