Tuesday 27 September 2016

Sevilla gunning for Fiorentina after losing proud home record

Published 07/05/2015 | 02:30

Unai Emery's Sevilla side host Fiorentina tonight at the Sanchez Pizjuan in the Europa League semi-final first-leg
Unai Emery's Sevilla side host Fiorentina tonight at the Sanchez Pizjuan in the Europa League semi-final first-leg

Sevilla are targeting an immediate return to winning ways at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium when they host Fiorentina in tonight's Europa League clash.

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The two sides meet in the first leg of their semi-final in Spain with the cup holders having seen their 35-match unbeaten home run ended in Saturday's 3-2 Primera Division defeat to Real Madrid.

"We are saddened to have lost at home," Sevilla coach Unai Emery said. "But I'm proud of the work done by my players. We made Real suffer and we could have even taken a draw."

The defeat saw Sevilla drop to fifth in the La Liga standings, three points adrift of Valencia, who hold the last Champions League qualifying place.

Sevilla beat Villarreal 5-2 in the last 16 and won 4-3 on aggregate against Zenit St Petersburg in the quarter-finals of the competition.

The reigning Europa League have won their last seven European home games but have never beaten an Italian side in four previous attempts and Fiorentina are unbeaten in their last 12 European away games.

Fiorentina overcame Tottenham, Roma and Dynamo Kiev en route to the last four.

The Viola halted a four-match losing streak in Serie A with Sunday's 3-1 triumph over Cesena.

No Fiorentina player will be more motivated to win at Sevilla than Spanish winger Joaquin.

A youth product of Sevilla's city rivals Betis, Joaquin played six years in the Beticos' first team.

"It's a special game for me," Joaquin said. "My friends from Betis have asked me to beat Sevilla. The only one that will have mixed emotions will be my father, who is a Sevilla fan but I'm sure he would like for me to reach the final."

Sevilla v Fiorentina

Live, ITV 4, 8.05

Irish Independent

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