With a providential goal from Munir El-Haddadi, Sevilla FC qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League by winning in extremis 2-1 in Krasnodar on Tuesday, taking advantage of Rennes’ defeat against Chelsea, also qualified in the same group.
Four days and the essential is already folded in an unbalanced group E: the big fish Chelsea and Seville, at their ease with ten points, are qualified, while the rookies Krasnodar and Rennes are lost in the big European waters, with a single point.
Sevilla will host Chelsea next week to play the important first place for the draw. At the same time, Rennes will go to Krasnodar for a match in which the eventual winner will take 3rd qualifying place in the Europa League.
Tuesday, in a fight on the unbalanced paper, the suspense first seemed to be nipped in the bud in Krasnodar: from the 4th minute, the Croatian playing master of Andalusians Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring with a superb half. cross volley, from outside the box.
In front of sparse spectators in the stadium in southeast Russia, where the public is partially allowed, Krasnodar was in the first act paralyzed by the stake, with only one – timid – opportunity, of a soft strike from the Frenchman Remy Cabella.
But the Russians came back much more enterprising in the second half and the former player of Marseille and Saint-Etienne almost equalized, taking advantage of a huge mistake by defender Nemanja Gudelj, his shot being pushed back at the last moment on the post by his compatriot Jules Koundé (49th).
It was the Brazilian-Belgian Wanderson who scored the goal of 1-1 and hope, with a cross shot after a good shift from Kristoffer Olsson. Koundé, who was still in the last defender position, could not do anything this time and deflected the shot in his goal (57th).
But in a disjointed end to the match, the former FC Barcelona Munir El-Haddadi finally validated, in two stages in the area (90th + 4), the Sevillian ticket for the knockout phase.
An option for Manchester
Manchester United took an option in the knockout stages of the Champions League thanks to their success (4-1) over a very weak team from Basaksehir, with a brace from Bruno Fernandes.
With 9 points, and taking into account the defeat of Leipzig in Paris (1-0), the Red Devils are 3 points ahead of PSG, which they will receive next week, and the Germans, to whom they will travel for the last day, but they had corrected (5-0) on the first leg.
They also have a 6 point lead and a particularly favorable goal difference over the Turks.
Once again, the Red Devils can thank the Portuguese attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who floats in this troubled period for the English club.
With 21 goals and 13 assists in 35 matches, in all competitions, he displays maddening statistics which justify the 55 million euros spent by United at the end of January to snatch him from Sporting.
Against Basaksehir, he launched his team in the 7th minute by scoring with a powerful half-volley on a corner rejected by the Turkish defense (1-0, 7th).
He doubled the bet by taking advantage of a hand fault by goalkeeper Mert Günok on a trivial center (2-0, 19th).
He could even have scored a hat-trick in the opening 45 minutes, when United were awarded a penalty for a charge in the back of Marcus Rashford.
But the Portuguese, usually responsible for these works, let the English striker transform him for his 5th goal in this group stage (3-0, 35th).
With a match bent at the break, in an overloaded schedule, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took advantage of the 5 possible changes – there are only three in the Premier League – to rest some executives and revive other players.
This allowed the Turks, very weak for 45 minutes, to embolden a little and reduce the score on a Deniz Türüç free kick that David De Gea only pushed behind his line, according to Goal Line Technology ( 3-1, 75e).
A goal in additional time from Daniel James, lacking confidence, gave a scale more in line with this important success (4-1, 90 + 2).
Beyond the qualification, it is also the first place of the group which will be at stake next Wednesday with the reception of Paris SG who will perhaps find in front of him Edinson Cavani, holder for the first time this season against Basaksehir, without being very convincing, however.