Seville (Spain), Sep 21 : Sevilla shook off two recent defeats to rout Standard Liege 5-1 in its opening group-stage match of the Europa League football championship.
Back in action in a tournament they have won five times, the Andalusians on Thursday seized control from the outset at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium and opened the scoring in the eighth minute on a curving free kick by Ever Banega into the top-right corner of the goal, reports Efe.
But Sevilla’s intensity dropped after French midfielder Ibrahim Amadou left the game with an injury in the 15th minute, ceding territory and giving up the equalizer in the 39th minute on a goal by Malian midfielder Moussa Djenepo.
The home side, however, responded with two scores on either side of halftime.
Franco Vazquez fired a left-footed blast off the upright and into the goal in the 41st minute before Wissam Ben Yedder, who tallied 10 goals for Sevilla in last-season’s Champions League, scored on a cross from Brazilian defender Guilherme Arana in the 49th minute.
Forty long minutes remained on the clock for the Belgian club, which was punchless up front and vulnerable in its back line.
Ben Yedder made the score 4-1 in the 70th minute when he scored after Banega had gained possession of the ball deep in Standard Liege’s territory.
Banega then became the second Sevilla player to score a brace in the 74th minute when he converted a penalty that had been awarded for a foul by Zinho Vanheusden on Vazquez.
Sevilla had come into the match having lost two straight games in the Spanish league to Real Betis and Getafe.
The Andalusian club, which won the Europa League in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, and 2016, had to go through three rounds of qualifying before reaching the group stage of this year’s tournament due to a seventh-place finish in last season’s La Liga.
Sevilla (three points) is currently in the first place in Group J of the Europa League, Europe’s secondary club soccer tournament.