Sevilla’s resurrection continues under Caparrós in the ‘holy derby’ | Sid Lowe


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Exhilarating, passionate and very sevillano, Saturday’s derby saw Joaquín Caparrós oversee another triumph over Betis

Somewhere in the middle of the smoke and the bodies, Sevilla’s bus began its 640-metre journey, slowly opening a path through the palms hammering at its side. Police vans escorted it along Calle Luis de Morales and, as the crowd parted, fireworks turning everything red, fans saw their manager sitting on the front row. Joaquín Caparrós wore a slightly manic smile, shook his fists, applauded, and thumped at the window. Outside, some ran to keep up. There wasn’t far to go: the bus turned left, left again and drew to a halt in front of the 480-square-metre, 200,000-tile mosaic, the finest façade in football, with its 50 club shields – including that of rivals Real Betis, whose bus pulled up alongside three minutes later. There, more fans waited with more flares.

Sevilla Continue reading “Sevilla’s resurrection continues under Caparrós in the ‘holy derby’ | Sid Lowe”

Spanish press reaction: ‘Lord’ Harry Kane brought Spain to their knees | Sid Lowe


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‘We hadn’t cocked it up like this against England since the 16th century’ said El Mundo while Marca felt Kane showed he was ‘a classic striker who is good at absolutely everything’

“I was great at half-time,” said the Spain manager Luis Enrique. “The logical thing would have been to kick something, crap on everything and kill them, but I didn’t.” He didn’t need to: Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane – especially Harry Kane – had already done so.

That was the verdict from the Spanish media in Seville. If Luis Enrique didn’t kill his players, nor for the most part did they. After three wins out of three, 12 goals scored, “the spell was broken” said Sport and there was criticism of course, a lot of it. Luis Enrique had expected that: “I’m ready for the ‘party’,” he insisted. Mostly, though, there was Kane, the man Continue reading “Spanish press reaction: ‘Lord’ Harry Kane brought Spain to their knees | Sid Lowe”

‘Seville’s Eurovision’ leaves both teams in Europe and everyone partying | Sid Lowe


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The derby, one of the few matches of the penultimate weekend with anything riding on it, didn’t disappoint

Betis’s bus made its way through a cloud of green smoke, while Sevilla’s passed the police cordon down the last, short stretch of empty street, turning off palm tree avenue to the Benito Villamarín. It was momentarily quiet outside, just a few stall holders in the sunshine, but inside the bus was different. On the right, a window had been smashed – not there, but four kilometres away, where a Sevilla fan had waved his team off over-enthusiastically – and sitting alongside it was the manager Joaquín Caparrós, exposed and in his element. Someone had put the club anthem on and he was belting it out like a man possessed, the 62-year-old shaking his fists as he sang. In the rows behind, the players banged on the glass. “We’re Sevilla and Continue reading “‘Seville’s Eurovision’ leaves both teams in Europe and everyone partying | Sid Lowe”

Sevilla’s danger men: five players who can pose Manchester United trouble


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United may be favourites in the Champions League last 16 but Sevilla have players who can hurt them

It’s Jesús Navas, but not as we know him. The former Manchester City winger has been converted to right-back and, although he is diligent, that does occasionally double the threat in attack, from where he remains a regular source of crosses. “He has played there a few times and he is doing it perfectly,” said Sergio Escudero, the full back on the other side. “It’s not his natural position but he is performing to a great level.”

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Paul Pogba primed and ready for Manchester United’s Sevilla test


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• Midfielder may return to side for Champions League first leg
• ‘Mourinho is a pioneer in training methodology,’ says MontellaThe cameras were out late at Carrington on Tuesday morning and so was Paul Pogba, which was one way of announcing that the Frenchman should be fit to play in Seville. But José Mourinho said it was “unfair” to load him with the responsibility for carrying Manchester United to the phase of the competition where teams start to believe they can actually win it and stopped short of saying he would start. Instead, he had set up a response before he and his players flew to Spain, one that he did not clarify upon arrival in Andalucia.

Normally the media is allowed in to film the first 15 minutes of training before Champions League ties – meaningless minutes in which the only thing anyone sees is players jogging round Continue reading “Paul Pogba primed and ready for Manchester United’s Sevilla test”