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Juventus upstage 10-man Sevilla 3-1 in Champions League

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Madrid, Nov 23 (IANS) Ten-man Sevilla slipped to a 1-3 home defeat to Italian football champions Juventus in a hard-fought Champions League match.

Sevilla had to play for 55 minutes with 10 men after Fran Vazquez was sent off here on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Despite a brave performance, Spanish side Sevilla failed to hold on to the lead, obtained in the first half, against the Italian champions.

With the win, Juventus assured themselves a place in the second round.

Defender Nico Pareja put Sevilla ahead in the 10th minute with a right foot volley from the edge of the Juventus penalty area following a corner kick.

Juventus saw striker Mario Mandzukic fire wide in their best early chance but their task was made a lot easier in the 36th minute when Fran Vazquez was sent off after being shown his second yellow card in just five minutes.

The Italian side drew level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time when referee Mark Clattenburg penalised Gabriel Mercado for pulling back an advancing Leonardo Bonucci.

Bonucci was charging to head a Claudio Marchisio taken corner. Marchisio then beat Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico from the resultant penalty with a low shot.

Sevilla replaced striker Luciano Vietto with midfielder Pablo Sarabia at halftime to compensate for Vazquez's loss, but Juventus looked to force home their numerical advantage.

The Spanish side defended bravely until the 85th minute when Bonucci scored a low shot from outside of the area to go 2-1 up.

The second goal and an injury time strike from Mandzukic broke Sevilla's spirit.

They dropped to the second spot in their group after the loss.

But they will still qualify for the last 16 stage if they avoid defeat by more than one goal in their final group game away to France's Olympique Lyon.

--IANS

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