Sevilla thumps Celta 4-0 in Copa del Rey semifinal

Seville (Spain), Feb 5 (IANS) Sevilla used its trademark counter-attacking game to good effect here Thursday in a 4-0 defeat of Celta Viga in the first leg of their Copa del Rey football semi-final.

Five-time Copa winner Sevilla is in pursuit of an eighth trip to the finals, while Celta – who have never won the trophy – are hoping for their first appearance in the final in 15 years, reports Efe.

Undefeated at home since a November 3 loss to Manchester City in Champions League action, Sevilla exuded confidence in front of nearly 37,000 fans at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Thursday.

Celta, who reached the semis by upsetting Atletico Madrid in a quarterfinal clash, focused on sound defence and midfield play, seemingly reluctant to venture much on offense against a team known for its lethal counterattack.

The home side generated two good opportunities in the first 20 minutes and three more in the next 10 minutes, culminating in Kevin Gameiro’s penalty in the 28th minute, but Celta goalkeeper Ruben Blanco made the stop.

Sevilla’s Adil Rami connected with a header just before half-time to make it 1-0.

While the opening minutes of the second half saw chances for both the sides, the match turned decisively in Sevilla’s favour after Gameiro put it in the net to double the advantage for the home side in the 59th minute.

With Celta in disarray, Ever Banega delivered a great deep ball to Gameiro, who scored his second of the night to make it 3-0 just three minutes later.

Celta kept battling, though with more energy than skill, and Michael Krohn-Delhi hammered in the final nail with a goal in the 87th minute to make it 4-0.

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