Sevilla 1-2 Bayern Munich: 5 Talking Points
The quarter-final stage of the UEFA Champions League got underway last night, as two of the four games were played. One of which saw LaLiga side Sevilla host the defending champions and current leaders of the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich.
Both sides headed into the game high on confidence. Sevilla had edged Manchester United out of the competition just under 3 weeks ago, and more recently, had matched Barcelona toe-to-toe in a 2-2 draw - They might even have won, had it not been for a certain demi-god who answers to the name of Lionel Messi - while Bayern had just dispatched of Borussia Dortmund - one of their greatest rivals - in an emphatic 6-0 victory just days ago.
Bayern were certainly the favourites going into the two-legged tie, and by the end of last night's match, even more so. In a heated, foul-filled encounter, it was Sevilla who opened the scoring through Pablo Sarabia (who should've, in all honesty, had his first goal much earlier) in the 32nd minute of the game.
Just 5 minutes later, Sevilla did themselves no favours as they allowed a Jesus Navas-deflected shot to slip into their own goal, giving their German visitors a blessing of an equaliser, and more importantly, an away goal.
Jupp Heynckes' side though, had smelled blood and they ostensibly craved more. The second half saw Bayern create chances aplenty before Thiago Alcantara made the most of a perfectly-lobbed Franck Ribery cross to find the back of the net in the 68th minute.
Fighting a 2-1 deficit at the Allianz Arena will be no small task by any means, and Bayern will remain clear-cut favourites to qualify for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
However, before we start to dream about the second leg, here's a look at 5 key talking points from last night's first-leg match:
#5 The game was lucky to see no red
With both sides expectedly giving it all, tempers were bound to flare, and fouls were inevitably going to be made. Referee Daniele Orsato, however, seemed to have decided to stand his ground and not get forced into making an early booking.
From the very get-go, both sides attacked aggressively, with players from both sides going down far too frequently - some upon contact, some for the sake of it. In fact, it almost seemed as if both teams had decided to test Orsato.
By the 12th minute of the game, the commentators were already befuddled as to how no bookings had been made by then. Yes, such was the nature of the game.
Coincidentally, as if on cue, the first card of the game was shown to Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery in the 13th minute after 3 Sevilla players went down in the same stretch of play, within a span of 10 seconds.
Eventually, a total of 5 yellow cards - 3 for Bayern and 2 for Sevilla - was all that referee Orsato was willing to impose. In a game as intense as last night's, either team could've very easily seen red, considering that a total of 21 fouls were committed. (Bayern - 9, Sevilla - 12)