Sevilla charge towards a second consecutive Europa League final

Italian side Fiorentina were soundly beaten at the Sanchez-Pizjuan, as Sevilla showed more cutting edge.

The reigning Europa League champions showed now signs of relinquishing their grip on the trophy, as they hosted visiting Italians Fiorentina, in the first-leg of their semi-final clash.

Backed by the roars of the Sanchez-Pizjuan crowd, Sevilla survived an early threat from former Real Betis favourite, Joaquin, when he teed up a chance for Mario Gomez, who fired just over the crossbar.

As the game switched from one direction to the other, eventually it was lightning fast Aleix Vidal, normally a winger but operating at right-back, who opened the scoring in the 17th minute from the edge of the box, thanks to an assist from Bacca.

Fiorentina weren't giving up though, and had good opportunities with Fernandez and Salah, particularly threatening for the Italians. However, Sevilla retained their slim advantage come the half-time interval.

More initial threats from Fiorentina came after the restart, but once again, it was Aleix Vidal who showed clinical finishing, receiving the ball from Vitolo, before striking with venom past Neto in the 52nd minute.

Sevilla were getting even stronger, but Fiorentina were managing to resist further punishment, or at least, until the arrival of Frenchman Kevin Gameiro from the bench.

Within just one minute of taking to the pitch, Gameiro made it 3-0 to Sevilla with fifteen minutes left on the clock, Aleix Vidal turning provider this time with the assist.

Former Manchester City man, Micah Richards, made a substitute appearance for Fiorentina, but as the final minutes ticked by, even an effort from him couldn't produce a lifeline away goal.

Loud celebrations from the home crowd at the final whistle, for a win Sevilla deserved. With such a comfortable advantage and save for an unlikely collapse, the second-leg should be a formality, as the Andaluz side power their way to a second consecutive Europa League final.

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