Sevilla’s unbeaten start to the season continued this weekend as they recorded an important 3-1 win at promoted side Cordoba.
It wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests at times for Sevilla, as they were tested at times by their hosts, but a Carlos Bacca brace helped them on their way to another three points.
There were no signs of a continental hangover after Sevilla’s 2-0 Europa League win over Feyenoord, largely thanks to the seven changes made by Unai Emery with important first-teamers Denis Suarez and Aleix Vidal returning and proving influential.
Vitolo and Carlos Bacca tested Cordoba goalkeeper Juan Carlos early on, with the latter drawing a good save from the Cordoba stopper with a low shot at the near post.
But the visitors did not have to wait long for an opener, finding the back of the net after just eight minutes.
Aleksandar Pantic’s miss-kick allowed Vidal to seize possession and square the ball to Bacca, who was never going to miss this time around.
Minutes later, the visitors missed a chance to double their advantage. Similarly to the first, Vidal teed up Bacca in bounds of space on the left-hand side. The Colombian did not display the lethal touch present a few minutes prior, however, failing miserably in his attempt to round goalkeeper Carlos.
What became abundantly clear in the opening exchanges was the freedom afforded to the visitors on the left-flank, with right-back Gunino seemingly missing at key times.
Cordoba monopolised possession in the second half, but had little to show for it, while Sevilla countered with pace, incisiveness and effectiveness, usually drawing a save from Carlos. At the end of a speedy breakaway, Suarez’s lofted through ball found Bacca, whose attempted chip was thwarted.
Regardless, Cordoba were certainly growing into the match and with efforts flying at the Sevilla goal, the visitors need a second to secure their position. And 20 minutes from time, they found it through substitute Stéphane M’bia.
The midfielder, who scored in midweek against Feyenoord, jumped unmarked and met Suarez’s free-kick, heading his side into a two-goal lead.
Bacca nearly scored from an improbable angle after rounding Carlos and taking aim from outside the area just a yard from the byline, with the oncoming Ever Banega inches away from tapping the ball in himself.
They were made to rue the miss as the home side pulled one back to minutes later, with Borja Garcia smashing in Fede Cartabia’s low cross, setting up a nervy finish.
With Cordoba plotting a way back into the match, all their hard work was once again wasted courtesy of another mistake by Pantic, who was penalised for a high-footed challenge on Vitolo in the area.
Bacca stepped up for the penalty and sent Carlos the wrong way to seal yet another win for Sevilla.
Cordoba: Juan Carlos, José Crespo, A. Gunino, Íñigo López, A. Pantić, F. Rossi, Borja García, Fidel, F. Cartabia, P. Ekeng, M. Havenaar
Sevilla: Sergio Rico, N. Pareja, B. Trémoulinas, Daniel Carriço, Coke, Vitolo, Denis Suárez, Aleix Vidal, G. Krychowiak, Iborra, C. Bacca.