Śląsk Wrocław's Europa League adventures came to a depressing end last night, when a classy Sevilla team put them to the sword in the Municipal Stadium. The La Liga side are no strangers to European competition, and Sevilla's killer instincts in front of goal showed in their crushing 5-0 victory.
Śląsk did look look purposeful in the opening minutes, throwing men forward in response to the passionate crowd cheering them on. It was Sevilla who took the lead after the game settled down however, with Ivan Ratkich firing in a powerful long range shot into the top left hand corner in the 23rd minute.
The away goal meant that Wrocław needed four goals to progress, and a quick reply was required to galvanise the team into making some kind of comeback. Just seconds after the opener, Sebastian Mila was handed the chance to do just that, but his lobbed effort narrowly missed the target.
Sevilla then put the tie beyond any doubt in the 38th minute, when Rakitić robbed Spahić of possession and set up Carlos Bacca, who calmly finished off the counter attacking move. The goal knocked the stuffing out of WKS, who knew their dreams of progressing were now well and truly over.
In the 2nd half the Spaniards showed no mercy and increased their advantage still further. Sevilla's third goal came in the 70th minute, when Jairo's jinking run created enough space for him to fire the ball into the bottom left hand corner from just inside the box.
In the 79th minute Sevilla scored again, rubbing salt into Śląsk's already gaping wounds. Wrocław substitute Oded Gavish lost his balance in the penalty area, giving Jairo the chance to nick the ball and swiftly play in Perotti, who made no mistake with his simple opportunity.
Much to the disappointment of the loyal fans who stayed until the end, WKS' defensive horror show was far from over. With three minutes left on the clock Gikiwiecz passed the ball straight to Bacca, allowing the striker to score his second of the night and put his team 5-0 up. Gikiewicz's shocking error may now well cost him his place in the starting eleven, especially with cult hero Marian Kelemen breathing down his neck.
The nature of last night's heavy defeat comes as a huge disappointment given the 42,000 sell out crowd. The players failed to show the many potential new fans in the stadium how well they can play, and seemed to let the occasion get to them. The suspensions affecting three key players also paid its toll, with Stefanović, Dudu and Paixao all unavailable. In the end Sevilla were able to win the game at a canter without even so much as breaking sweat, which was certainly not the case in the 1st leg last week.
Despite Wrocław's poor performance however, the Trybuna B loyal gave the players relentless vocal backing throughout. The fans were clearly the stars of the show on the night, and created a tremendous spectacle aided by the fantastic card display photographed above.
Śląsk will now have to put the defeat behind them as they attempt to climb their way back up to the Ekstraklasa's summit on Sunday, when they travel to Gliwice to take on Piast. With the trio of Dudu, Stefanović and Paixao available again, as well as new signing Luboš Adamec, Stanislav Levy will hope a regenerated Śląsk can make up for last night's defeat by securing another three crucial league points.
Photocredits – Krystyna Pączkowska, slaskwroclaw.pl