After back-to-back Europa League titles, Sevilla are looking to advance past the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history. The La Liga side held off Leicester City on Wednesday in a 2-1 victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium that brings them one step closer to that.
Despite missing some good chances to win by a larger margin, Sevilla were able to get a good result ahead of the away leg. Jamie Vardy’s 73rd minute header brought Leicester to within one, after Sevilla looked to be cruising through the match. It was the forward’s first goal since a December 10th hat-trick in the Premier League vs. Manchester City. It was also Leicester’s first goal scored in their last three matches combined in all competitions.
Joaquin Correa had Sevilla up 2-0 in the 62nd minute after finishing off Stevan Jovetic’s assist. It was the midfielder’s fifth goal in all competitions, and a good finish after failing to score from a 14th minute penalty. Pablo Sarabia had broken the 0-0 deadlock in the 25th minute when his header beat Kasper Schmeichel to the bottom-left corner.
Sevilla had 73% of the match possession while creating seven shots on goal. Leicester only had two shots on goal, while defending for their lives on several occasions. Schmeichel kept Leicester in it by making five saves, and getting help from the bar after Adil Rami’s 88th minute header deflected off it.
Leicester will host Sevilla at the King Power Stadium on March 14th for the second leg, knowing they return home with a crucial away goal.
SUPER SUBS HELP JUVENTUS OVER PORTO
Juventus got a good start to their Round of 16 draw against FC Porto after a 2-0 road victory at the Estadio do Dragao. Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who currently lead the Italian Serie A league, got two second-half goals to pull away.
Marko Pjaca’s 72nd minute winner had the Juventus up 1-0 against the then 10-men hosts. The 21-year-old Croatian midfielder came on as a 67th minute sub, and quickly made an impact. Pjaca rifled a right footed effort to the bottom-left corner.
Substitute wing-back Dani Alves added an insurance goal in the 74th, slotting home with his left foot to the bottom-left corner. The former Barcelona man came on only second before making another huge impact for the Italians. Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic both had efforts saved in the match which kept Porto in the match at that time. Dybala was unlucky right before halftime, after he saw his left-footed effort go off the right post.
Porto, were reduced to 10-men after defender Alex Telles picked up a second yellow card in the 26th minute. They failed to record a single shot on target and only had 23% of the match possession.
Juventus now return home for the second leg on March 14th, knowing they have a 2-0 advantage. Porto will need a better offensive attack for any chance of advancing the quarterfinals for the seventh time in their history.
The Round of 16 second legs kick off on Tuesday March 7 with Arsenal hosting Bayern Munich (2:45 p.m., Fox Sports 1), and Napoli entertaining Real Madrid (2:45 p.m., Fox Sports 2).