Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui has hailed his side’s 1-0 victory over Atletico Bilbao at San Mames after having a difficult week.
closed the distance on LaLiga leadersReal Madrid
with a 1-0 win overAthletic Bilbao
at San Mames on Saturday, thanks to a long-range shot byThomas Delaney
and Athletic Bilbao's inability to finish scoring chances.
The victory injects fresh blood into Sevilla’s vein after a difficult week. They were dropped to the Europa League after losing 1-0 toSalzburg
on Wednesday, preventing them from progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
However, their victory in Bilbao keeps them in the title race, five points behind Madrid with the same amount of games played (16).
rested many important players for the game, maybe to give them a mental break following their European failure. It was a gamble, but when called upon, the second string stood up and delivered. Now it's time for Sevilla to reset and go on with the rest of the season.
“It’s a very positive result in a complicated place where we haven’t won much in recent years,”
Lopetegui said post-match in comments carried byMarca
“Only we know the week that we’ve had – the elimination, the injuries, the accumulated fatigue.
“They’ve been preparing for the game all week and we’ve played with a lot of heart. We’ve been able to score and they haven’t, but that’s also happened the other way around in other games and they scored against us. We had more control in the second half and we managed to earn three very important points for the players. They deserve it.”
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