irresistible sevilla march on published: friday 4 may 2007, 0.55cet
sevilla fc 2-0 ca osasuna (agg: 2-1) luis fabiano and renato struck as the hosts and holders overturned a first-leg deficit to reach glasgow.
by chris burke from estadio ramón sánchez-pizjuán
one half of glasgow will be painted in the red and white of sevilla fc on 16 may after the andalusian club completed a 2-0 victory at home to uefa cup semi-final rivals ca osasuna, brazilian duo luis fabiano and renato making the difference for the holders.
trophy defence juande ramos's team will defend their trophy against compatriots rcd espanyol thanks to a convincing win against valiant opponents who could not protect their 1-0 first-leg advantage. luis fabiano lit the way with a combination of skill and strength on 37 minutes, but it was renato's cool finish eight minutes after the interval that set up another historic occasion for the hosts.
electric night these sides knew each other well from spanish league skirmishes; even so, the spring air crackled with the special kind of electricity european nights invariably generate. and even if sevilla's evening kicked off with a rendition of their centenary anthem of 2006, there was no question of looking to past glories. especially not when osasuna came out determined to close them down, a perseverance that stopped the home side settling early on.
sevilla chances chances slowly began to materialise for sevilla, although they tended to snatch at these when they did come - josé luis martí, luis fabiano and surprise starter antonio puerta all shooting well over. a little more penetration was needed and sevilla eventually got it when frédéric kanouté burst into the box, turned inside césar cruchaga and was only prevented from pulling the trigger by josé izquierdo's sliding tackle.
fabiano delivers desperate to draw level in the tie, ramos's men suffered a blow when adriano correia limped off on 27 minutes. no matter: their growing domination continued and carlos cuéllar did brilliantly to deny kanouté's attempt to connect with a threatening cross from substitute duda. the no5 was helpless to keep out luis fabiano on 37 minutes, though, as the 26-year-old brazilian forward latched on to a bouncing long ball from christian poulsen, brushed cuéllar aside on the penalty spot and, with his sixth touch, rifled a shot past ricardo lópez. cuéllar was then relieved to see kanouté unable to get sufficient power on his point-blank header after his failure to clear left the malian well placed.
under pressure the half-time whistle brought relief for the beleaguered visitors, yet they were under pressure again straight from the restart when renato flashed the ball just wide of the target from 35 metres, closely followed by a kanouté effort which was gathered easily by ricardo. their every touch whistled by the locals, osasuna seemed thoroughly subdued until pierre webó blasted narrowly over.
breathless action that insurgence proved a false dawn, however, as moments later renato put sevilla ahead on aggregate with his outstretched leg, leaping through the air to turn in daniel alves's centre from the right. the euphoria in the stadium was almost extinguished when webó nodded a corner against the post in the hunt for a decisive away goal, yet sevilla responded immediately through luis fabiano, whose own header flew agonisingly wide. long-range drives from duda at one end and osasuna substitute valdo lópez at the other – both saved – kept up the frenetic pace.
expectations exceeded the pamplona outfit's dreams of glasgow were fading by the minute, though, and it was sevilla who finished the stronger, almost adding a late third through daniel alves after he was played in by aleksandr kerzhakov on the counterattack. while sevilla marched on, josé ángel ziganda's visitors were left to content themselves with a continental campaign that exceeded expectations and won them many admirers along the way.