Osasuna overcome Sevilla test in La Liga opener
The Spanish season began on Friday, with Osasuna defeating Sevilla 2-1 at home in a game decided by a borderline penalty, similar to the type that Spain’s referees had promised to eliminate.
After the referee ruled that Sevilla midfielder Papu Gómez had committed a foul in the area, Aimar Oroz converted a penalty kick for the 74th-minute winner.
Chimy vila scored the game’s first goal in the ninth minute, slamming a powerhouse header off goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and into the net.
Rafa Mir responded for Sevilla two minutes later, rifled in a Gómez pass to the near post.
Both teams hit the crossbar with long shots before Oroz turned the tide in Pamplona.
Julen Lopetegui, the coach of Sevilla, questioned the penalty, which was given after Jon Moncayola collided with Gómez. Lopetegui stated that it was difficult to understand, particularly after Spanish referees met with teams this summer to announce that they would raise the bar on what constituted a penalty.
“We had a meeting recently with referees whose main argument was that they would no longer call these minor penalties… so it is difficult to understand,” Lopetegui said. “They told us the exact opposite during our meeting.”
Sevilla finished fourth in the league last season, qualifying for the Champions League. However, Julen Lopetegui’s squad has been weakened by the departure of Diego Carlos and Jules Koundé, who formed one of the league’s best central defender pairings.
Karim Rekik and Nemanja Gudelj, both of whom were mostly used as backups last season, took their places. After a shaky start, Osasuna pressed for the opener, which came soon after when vila slipped behind Gudelj to meet a cross at the far post.
Sevilla’s new forward Alex Telles made his debut. Isco Alarcón, Sevilla’s star signing from Real Madrid, was left out of the squad as he works his way back into shape.
However, Lopetegui has stated that he hopes sports director Ramón Monchi Rodrguez, who is known for finding talent at a low cost, will strengthen his squad before the summer market closes at the end of the month.
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