Sevilla converts pair of penalties in topping Monchengladbach in UCL
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Sevilla scored two out of its three penalties to ease to a 3-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
Sevilla bossed the entire Group D match at its Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium but only led 1-0 after Kevin Gameiro converted one of two penalties in the first five minutes of the second half. Both spot kicks were earned by forward Victor "Vitolo" Machin.
Gameiro made amends by forcing a third penalty, which this time Ever Banega stepped up to take in the 66th and coolly slotted into the corner.
Sevilla's Yevhen Konoplyanka went on in the 83rd and a minute later scored Sevilla's third, catching out goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a long strike from an extremely tight angle on the right flank.
It was Sevilla's first victory of the season after going winless in the first three rounds of the Spanish league and losing 5-4 in an extra-time thriller to Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup.
"The entire team was great, from minute one we went for it. We just needed for the ball to go in," Vitolo said. "It was very important for us to win this game. It will give us a boost of confidence for what's to come, both the Spanish league and the Champions League."
Monchengladbach, which is playing in Europe's top tournament for the first time since 1978, recorded its fifth loss in as many games across all competitions this campaign.
Also in Group D, Juventus fought back for a 2-1 win at Manchester City. The 2015 finalist overcame an own goal by Giorgio Chiellini with two strikes by Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata in the final 20 minutes.
Sevilla dominated the first half which— other than a header sent wide by Roel Brouwers in the sixth— saw the German visitors scrambling to defend.
Just before Brouwers's miss, Vitolo set the tone by firing a shot against the post.
Gameiro had four scoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes before halftime, missing twice the target before forcing saves from defender Tony Jantschke and Sommer.
Sommer, however, was adjudged to have tripped Vitolo less than a minute after the restart, giving Gameiro his chance to blast the ball into the top corner in the 47thminute.
The Frenchman's aim was off two minutes later, as he struck his second spot kick off the bar and wasted another chance creating by Vitolo, who had drawn a clumsy foul from Brouwers.
Last season's Europa League champions didn't have to wait long, however, before Jantschke chopped down Gameiro after another incisive pass from Benoit Tremoulinas.
Konoplyanka then added his swerving strike to further sour Summer's night.