Sevilla 3 – 1 Elche ……Elche finished the season by slumping to defeat against a very professional Sevilla side who showed no signs of a hangover following their mid-week European triumph.
In truth, the Elche season was over a week ago after having secured their place in La Liga and tonight was simply an opportunity for Sevilla to pose with their pot and thank the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán fans.
Elche began the 2013/14 campaign by shipping three goals and did the very same thing this evening, albeit with an altogether better performance than that which they put in against Rayo Vallecano last August.
There were changes aplenty for both sides, but that didn’t diminish the quality of the game with the home side taking just sixteen minutes to get on the score-sheet.
Iborra was presented with a simple chance he made no mistake with following a corner Elche failed to adequately deal with.
Conceding so soon was tough on the visitors who had started brightly and just about shaded the opening exchanges, the thing is, though, by now they should be experienced in this league and much more alert in their own box.
No such problems for them in midfield where their approach play was admirable; up front, though, has been their Achilles heel all season and the lack of end product is the reason why they’ve flirted with an immediate return to the Segunda División.
Second string Sevilla goalkeeper Javi Varas was only really called into action fleetingly, and even then, routine saves were all that was necessary as an entertaining first half drew to a close with just the one goal.
One characteristic of Elche this season has been their determination to keep plugging away, that they did to good effect at the start of the second half of this game too but with them there is also an element of vulnerability to the counter. With an hour gone, Sevilla doubled their lead when Jairo was on hand to convert a Diogo centre.
At two-nil Sevilla were in cruise control and Elche it was who had to chase the game, something they haven’t really been that good at, especially away from home. Iborra added his second goal of the match and all three points for Sevilla mid-way through the half to leave Elche with a mountain to climb.
Fran Escribá responded by throwing on reinforcements; yanking Javi Flores who had done well in one of his limited first team chances and replacing him with Richmond Boakye.
Three goals to the good, Sevilla were never going to falter and by now the stadium was in party mode with everyone inside the ground assured of a final day win. The last goal they were to witness, though, came from a blue shirted Elche player and Boakye, who else ? was the man to do the honours by connecting well with a Garry Rodrigues pass.
So a fifth place finish and a handsome trophy for Sevilla who, at one point, were under pressure after a dreadful start to the season. How things change. Elche have done as well as anyone expected and finished sixteenth, one place above Almeria.
Villarreal were the other promoted side to retain their Primera División status for 2014/15. That wasn’t the case for Real Betis, Real Valladolid and Osasuna, all of whom were unable to avoid the drop.
Referee: Hernández Hernández
Sevilla: Varas, Diogo, Coke, Fazio (82), Moreno (86), Cotán, Iborra,, Reyes (73), Jairo, Trochowski and Carlos Fernandez
Goals: Iborra (16, 72), Jairo (60).
Substitues: Rakitic (73) Puerto (83), Moisés (87).
Yellow Cards: Cotán and Iborra
Elche: Herrera, Damián, Lombán, Pelegrín, Albacar, Mantecón; Rivera, Fidel (83), Javi Flores (73), J.Márquez (65) and Cristian Herrera.
Goals:: Boakye (92)
Subs: Garry Rodrigues (65), Boakye (73), Samuel (83).
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43679/
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