Champions League: Sevilla vs Red Bull Salzburg was one of the best group stage games in years

Sevilla vs Red Bull Salzburg

Naturally, much of the attention this evening has centred around Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Champions League action with Manchester United. 

Still, while United’s social media accounts seem to want you to believe otherwise, there is a world outside the Portuguese. 

Indeed, this is largely regarded as the greatest club competition in the world and, while the group stages aren’t always the most exciting, Sevilla’s clash with Red Bull Salzburg was as thrilling a game as you’re ever likely to see. 

While a 1-1 draw might not seem as particularly exciting, the sheer chaos that erupted throughout proceedings made it one of the best group stage clashes in years. 

Salzburg forward Karim Adeyemi won three penalties in the opening thirty-five minutes, which says a lot about the eventfulness of the tie in Seville.

Though that would usually give teams the opportunity to open up quite the gap, Adeyemi missed the first and, after a successful spot-kick from teammate Luka Sucic, the latter player would then squander the third too. 

Maximilian Wöber would then concede one for the Austrian side with Ivan Rakitic duly dispatching before half-time. 

As if four penalties before the interval wasn’t enough drama, Sevilla star Youssef En-Nesyri was then sent off before the hour after receiving his second yellow for a dive. 

Played amidst the backdrop of some dramatic driving rain, if more group stage meetings were like this, the Champions League would be so much more interesting. 

Certainly, it was a game to remember. Other than for Salzburg star Oumar Solent, who produced one of the worst misses imaginable, putting the ball over despite facing an open goal after the ball broke to him from a corner. 

What an evening. 

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