Sunday, 23 January 2011

Match Report: Sevilla 4 Levante 1

FT: Sevilla 4 (Luis Fabiano 27, 42 (pen), 67, Escude 37) - Levante (Xisco 57)

A Luis Fabiano hat-trick helped Sevilla seep aside a poor Levante side and move back into the race for Europa League qualification.

In a repeat of the scoreline between these two sides on the opening day of the season, the home side dominated from start to finish and in the returning Jesus Navas and with Fabiano re-discovering his best from Los Rojiblancos had the cutting edge in the final third that they have often lacked this season.

In contrast Levante seemed like a side lacking in confidence, unsurprising given that they have now lost their last five games, and often left record-signing Felipe Caicedo isolated up front.

After a successful outing in the Copa Del Rey midweek, Gregorio Manzano was able to recall captain Andres Palop, Diego Perotti, Navas and Fabiano to the starting XI. Sergio Sanchez also retained his place in defence to make his first league start in 18 months following his recovery from heart problems.

Unsurprisingly Navas was involved as Sevilla made the breakthrough on 27 minutes. The winger clipped the ball over from the right side but Fabiano still had an awful lot to do, bulleting a looping header over Manolo Reina into the net. The hosts then made the game safe with a two goal burst just before half-time. Koffi Romaric’s corners have proved a rich source of goals for Sevilla in recent weeks and they were so again as Julien Escude stooped to head home at the near post. Fernando Navarro was then ‘felled’ by the slightest of contact from Javi Venta inside the area - Fabiano slotting home the spot-kick.

There was some consolation for Levante when Xisco fired into the roof of the net after a neat through ball from Caicedo 12 minutes after the break. However, they didn’t threaten to build on that lifeline and with every passing defeat look destined for a return to the Segunda after one season back in the big league.

Fabiano sealed the three points and his hat-trick with another wonderful finish from 20 yards. After a disappointing first half of the season, O Fabuloso living up to his billing as La Liga turns the corner. Los sevillistas will be hoping the Brazilian international is now over his post World Cup funk with Mourinho’s men heading to the Sanchez Pizjuan on Wednesday.

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