Sevilla FC vs Athletic Bilbao – Football Match Report – May 3, 2021
Sevilla conceded a 90th-minute goal to fall to a 1-0 home loss to Athletic Bilbao on Monday, dealing a near-fatal blow to their La Liga title hopes.
Julen Lopetegui’s side dominated the game but suffered a late blow as Athletic counterattacked and forward Inaki Williams showed his cool to carry the ball to the top corner.
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The goal inflicted Sevilla’s first defeat since March 6 and ended a five-game La Liga winning streak, which placed them among the contenders for the title race in the short term.
The defeat left Sevilla fourth in the standings with 70 points with four games to go, four behind Real Madrid, second, Barcelona, third and six behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Coach Lopetegui considered his side difficult and was angry that they did not receive a penalty early in the second half when the ball hit Athletic defender Mikel Balenziaga’s hand.
“We could have easily got a penalty, we were unlucky,” he told reporters.
“We have won many games with a lot less chances than tonight. But we have earned the right to dream of the title and we will continue.”
Sevilla have a chance to get back into contention when they visit Real Madrid next weekend.
Athletic celebrated a second victory in eight days over a title contender, after beating leaders Atletico 2-1 at home last Sunday.
The Basques could have yet another say in the title race by hosting Real Madrid on May 16.
Sevilla got off to a wild start and had their first chance when Lucas Ocampos slipped to meet a cross but couldn’t keep his shot under the bar.
Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri had a clearer opportunity halfway through the first half, but his header was blocked by a low save from Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon, who again thwarted the Moroccan forward half-time, parrying his shot and then rushing to keep the ball from sinking on the line.
Athletic had their first chance early in the second half when striker Asier Villalibre pushed his way through the host defense but threw his shot right off.
Sevilla were furious that they didn’t receive a penalty when Balenziaga’s hand blocked a Jesus Navas cross and they continued to cause a lot of danger but seemed to lose confidence every time they approached the goal.
At the other end, Athletic substitute Nico Williams helped force the ball over the line but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Moments later, his older brother Inaki was luckier, scoring for the first time since February as he punched Sevilla.
“It’s a very hard blow. We tried everything, we had a lot of chances and then they had a chance and scored,” added Sevilla captain Navas.
“But we’re going to keep trying, we’re going to fight every game and we’re going to Madrid next week to win.”