Sevilla boss relieved with win despite losing another star to injury

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui was relieved to see his decimated team win 1-0 away at Cadiz on Monday evening.

Sevillistas Rojiblancos moved to within five points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a game in hand. Monday’s win came thanks to a 58th minute goal by Lucas Ocampos from an Ivan Rakitic assist. The title challengers were without a number of key players due to injuries, COVID-19 and a suspension for top centre back Jules Koundé.

Lopetegui said in his post-match press conference: “Very happy with the three points. They are always difficult, each game is a conquest, very complicated and Cádiz is a very tough team that is very clear on how to attack and defend.

“Under the circumstances, we have played a serious game. The team has competed, it has deserved the three points, we have had chances to kill the game and we have not succeeded.

“In short, we have played a good game against an opponent who demands of you, we have defended well, attacked with patience and tranquillity, we have known how to wait and take advantage of our moment. It has appeared and we have obtained the three points.

“With 1-0, Cádiz’s plan changes and more spaces appear. We have had chances, but we have not been successful.”

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Sevilla rocked by injuries

Lopetegui has seen his team suffer several new injuries.

This comes ahead of a busy week with a Copa del Rey tie against Real Zaragoza and a La Liga match against Getafe.

The coach told the media after Monday’s 1-0 win at Cadiz: “I see Sevilla preparing for the Zaragoza game, with 12 or 13 field players, in a competition that does not allow you to make a mistake. The rest does not interest us.”

Sevilla came into the Cadiz match with injuries to Rafa Mir, Thomas Delaney and Gonzalo Montiel. Youssef En-Nesyri, Suso and Erik Lamela have been long-term absentees whilst Jules Koundé was suspended.

Things went from bad to worse as key midfielder Fernando injured his ankle in Monday’s victory.

Lopetegui lamented: “One more joins an endless list, we have been working with two attackers out of six for a month and a half.

“Now the scene of the Covid. It is something complex and difficult and hopefully we will solve it as soon as possible.

“We have been able to incorporate four that have tested negative, but they were on the bench. Others have not been able to come. We have worked all week with nine outfield players, two came out yesterday, four today.

“We have a long time ahead in which we are going to continue like this. With the African Cup and the injuries, we need to solve that deficiency that we have.”

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