Sevilla 1-0 West Ham: Player ratings as Hammers slip to narrow Europa League defeat

West Ham’s dreams of reaching the Europa League quarter-finals are still alive despite a narrow 1-0 defeat to six-time winners Sevilla.

The Hammers put in a spirited performance in Spain against a side who have bettered Manchester United and Wolves in European competition over recent years, but will go into the second leg at London Stadium next week a goal down after Munir’s superb strike earned Julen Lopetegui’s men a narrow advantage.

There was a terrific atmosphere at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium despite it not being a sellout, and the home supporters should have been treated to a goal in the opening five minutes.

A neat interchange of passing between Jesus Navas and Jesus Corona allowed the latter to swing a dangerous cross into the box, only for a flying Munir to plant his header wide of Alphonse Areola’s post.

Minutes later it was West Ham who should have been ahead, as Nikola Vlasic missed a gilt-edged to open the scoring from close range. Declan Rice nodded Manuel Lanzini’s whipped free-kick back across the six-yard box, only for Vlasic to power a diving header of his own straight at Sevilla goalkeeper Bono; Michail Antonio somehow mis-kicked the rebound instead of burying it in the back of the net.

The Hammers continued to impress and enjoyed good spells of possession in the first half, Vlasic flashing another shot at goal that Bono had to tip round the post.

Sevilla had their chances, too, but Munir was again unable to hit the target when presented with a decent opportunity, and Youssef En-Nesyri steered his header straight into the safe hands of Areola.

The second 45 minutes saw Sevilla show their experience at this level, and they gradually began to take hold of the game after Tomas Soucek had rifled a fierce effort straight at Bono.

Kurt Zouma’s clumsy foul gave Sevilla a free kick just outside the Hammers’ box, and the visitors switched off to allow Munir to ghost in from the edge of the area to steer a terrific half-volley past Areola and into the bottom corner.

Lucas Ocampos came close to doubling Sevilla’s advantage twice, with En-Nesyri also having another header at goal, while at the other end Navas produced a superb block to deny Manuel Lanzini from close range.

Substitute Said Benrahma injected a bit of life into West Ham late on, but he wasn’t able to create an equaliser for David Moyes’s side – although the Scot can be proud of his players efforts in Seville.

Jules Kounde

Kounde showed his class for Sevilla / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Bono (GK) – 6/10 – Great reflex save early on to keep out Vlasic’s header and did well to fist away Soucek’s fierce drive to safety.

Jesus Navas (RB) – 8/10 – Made a terrific block to deny Lanzini from close range – tremendous from Sevilla’s captain. Marauded up and down the right flank like a teenager.

Jules Kounde (CB) – 7/10 – Had his hands full with Antonio but was up for the task. Has a tremendous range of passing and skill on the ball, no wonder Chelsea have been linked.

Nemanja Gudelj (CB) – 6/10 – Didn’t do anything wrong as such – but didn’t really get to grips with Antonio and Vlasic early on. Looked a tad off the pace.

Marcos Acuna (LB) – 7/10 – Looked capable of making things happen for Sevilla. Classy in possession at times.

Joan Jordan (CM) – 8/10 – Progressed the ball nicely for Sevilla and switched the play superbly at times. Recovered the ball for fun.

Oliver Torres (CM) – 7/10 – Like Jordan, Torres specialises in the unspectacular – buzzed about keeping things simple.

Munir (AM) – 8/10 – Spurned a couple of chances in the first half but that was forgotten in an instant after a wonderfully controlled half-volley. Movement between the lines was impressive throughout.

Lucas Ocampos, Ben Johnson

Lucas Ocampos challenges Ben Johnson / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Jesus Corona (RW) – 6/10 – Not as involved as it looked like he might be early on. Switched flanks to try and get more involved but the main threat actually came from Navas and Acuna.

Youssef En-Nesyri (ST) – 7/10 – A major threat in the air for Dawson and Zouma. Could have done better with a couple of opportunities but a good focal point.

Lucas Ocampos (LW) – 6/10 – The Argentine, similar to Corona, found it difficult to really influence the game – though you could argue he did little wrong.

Anthony Martial (75′ for Munir) – 5/10 – The Manchester United loanee didn’t have enough time to really get involved.

Ludwig Augustinsson (88′ for Corona) – N/A –

Subs not used: Dmitrovic (GK), Pastor, Salas, Carmona, Cruz, Sanchez, Mir, Romero, Martial

Kurt Zouma

Zouma wasn’t at his brilliant best / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Alphonse Areola (GK) – 6/10 – Handling was good when challenged by a powerful En-Nesyri header just before the half-hour mark. No chance with Munir’s goal.

Ben Johnson (RB) – 7/10 – Not phased by the occasion whatsoever – cool, composed and displayed a maturity beyond his experience. Made some useful runs forward and solid in defence.

Craig Dawson (CB) – 6/10 – Struggled to get the better of En-Nesyri in the air and his awful concession of the ball almost cost West Ham a second. Defending was generally okay.

Kurt Zouma (CB) – 6/10 – Not the dominant figure he has been of late. Booked for a bit of a clumsy lunge just before the hour mark, with the resulting free-kick leading to Munir’s goal.

Aaron Cresswell (LB) – 6/10 – Recovered possession for West Ham on a number of occasions but wasn’t able to influence play with dangerous balls into the box.

Declan Rice (CM) – 7/10 – Didn’t disappoint on the big occasion for West Ham. Got his foot in when needed, read the game exceptionally well and kept up the tempo – brilliant considering he was ill earlier in the week.

Tomas Soucek (CM) – 6/10 – Fizzed a rocket of a shot at Bono early in the second half, though may feel he could have done better. Grew into the game.

Manuel Lanzini (CM) – 7/10 – Impressive on the ball in deeper and more advanced midfield areas. Great intelligence of what’s around him at times.

Nikola Vlasic

Vlasic missed a great chance for West Ham / CRISTINA QUICLER/GettyImages

Nikola Vlasic (RF) – 6/10 – Missed a glorious chance early on with a header that he really should have buried. Was a nuisance during the first half an hour but faded.

Michail Antonio (ST) – 7/10 – Put himself about brilliantly in the first half – stretching Sevilla’s backline and drawing fouls. Wasn’t as effective in the second as the hosts saw more of the ball.

Pablo Fornals (LF) – 6/10 – Gave possession away cheaply in the lead up to Sevilla’s goal and was a little sloppy with the ball second half.

Said Benrahma (67′ for Vlasic) – 6/10 – Injected a bit of life and spark into West Ham’s performance but couldn’t help fashion an equaliser.

Mark Noble (83′ for Lanzini) – N/A – Brought on late to help shut up shop.

Subs not used: Fabianski (GK), Randolph (GK), Diop, Alese, Fredericks, Masuaku, Kral, Potts, Chesters, Perkins

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Brighton predicted lineup vs Liverpool – Premier League

In desperate need of an upturn in form, Brighton face the daunting task of hosting Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend.

Having rightly attracted many admirers earlier in the season, Graham Potter’s side are currently enduring a torrid spell of form. The Seagulls have registered just one win in their last eight league fixtures, coming at Watford, and have lost each of their previous four – conceding nine and scoring just one in the process.

By comparison, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are on a seven-match winning streak in the Premier League and are mounting a serious surge for the title.

Here’s how Brighton could set out.

Mark Cucurella

Mark Cucurella is proving an excellent signing for Brighton / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Robert Sanchez (GK) – Only suspension has kept Brighton’s number one from featuring in the Premier League this season, as he gets set for a 27th appearance of the campaign.

Joel Veltman (CB) – Has started his side’s last ten in the league since overcoming a niggle, and should continue here.

Lewis Dunk (CB) – Things have been very stop-start for the defender since December (more stop than start) but he should be in line to skipper the side for a sixth time in all competitions this calendar year.

Marc Cucurella (CB) – Looks a great bit of business for Brighton and will continue at the back having not missed a league fixture since arriving, though perhaps in a more underlapping role.

Tariq Lamptey

Tariq Lamptey can be such a threat / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Tariq Lamptey (RWB) – One of this club’s brightest sparks, the wiry full-back can be an absolute nightmare to defend against.

Jakub Moder (CM) – Has been consistently average of late, failing to register a goal involvement in his last nine appearances.

Adam Lallana (CM) – Should come back into the fold to face his former employers, in an attempt to grasp some control in the middle of the park.

Yves Bissouma (CM) – Left on the bench in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle last time out but should certainly return for a game that will require an abundance of energy.

Solly March (LWB) – Potter could revert to a back three for this clash, which may open the door for March to come back into the team.

Neil Maupay

Neal Maupay could return / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Leandro Trossard (ST) – Scored at Anfield earlier in the season and, as a key creator in this Brighton side, should definitely start up top.

Neal Maupay (ST) – Vying for a return to the starting XI in place of Danny Welbeck, looking to strike for a ninth time in the Premier League this term having failed to find the net in his previous four appearances.

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Liverpool predicted lineup vs Brighton – Premier League

Liverpool return to Premier League action with a trip to Brighton on Saturday hoping to keep the significant pressure on in the title race.

The Reds have just suffered their first defeat in 16 fixtures across all competitions – although still have a place in the last eight of the Champions League despite losing 1-0 to Inter on Tuesday – but still boast blistering form in the Premier League as they search for an eighth successive league victory.

They’ll feel confident of doing so on Saturday, travelling to a Brighton side that has fallen to defeat in each of their previous four games.

Here’s how the Reds could shape up.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

A glorious talent / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) – Has kept five clean sheets in seven Premier League appearances since returning from Covid-19, even registering an assist in that time.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – Talking of assists, there’s no chance this weapon (you know, in a good way) doesn’t start.

Joel Matip (CB) – Ibrahima Konate is a slight doubt due to a knock he picked up recently, so Matip should start this one.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) –
The man-mountain has started each of the previous nine league games since battling his own bout of Covid-19, scoring twice.

Andy Robertson (LB) –
In splendid form at the moment, although will be hoping for a first assist in four outings this weekend.

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson should come back into the lineup for this one / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Fabinho (DM) – The Brazilian makes sweeping up in that engine room look so easy and, while his scoring spree looks to be over, he’ll inevitably start once more.

Jordan Henderson (CM) – Should be set to return to the starting XI to skipper Liverpool once more on Saturday, aiming to continue his own brilliant individual form.

Naby Keita (CM) – Thiago might be afforded a rest ahead of a crunch clash against Arsenal in midweek, potentially opening the door to Keita.

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane’s switch to the middle of the front three has worked brilliantly / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Mohamed Salah (RW) – 19 goals and a further ten assist in 25 Premier League appearances this term – there just aren’t enough superlatives.

Sadio Mane (ST) – Looks a natural in the centre of a front three, having scored four in his previous three league games.

Luis Diaz (LW) – Should have done enough to retain his starting spot for league matters in what has been a very impressive start to his Liverpool career.

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Brighton vs Liverpool: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they travel south to face Brighton.

The Reds will need to bounce back from a first defeat in 16 outings across all competitions this week, although that 1-0 loss to Inter didn’t thwart their progression into the Champions League’s final eight. In Premier League matters, Jurgen Klopp’s men are pushing Manchester City to the end in the title race, having won each of their last seven league fixtures.

Brighton aren’t faring quite so well at the moment. Graham Potter’s side has shown very promising signs throughout the campaign, although are currently in the midst of a rocky patch. The Seagulls have won just once in their last eight league games and have fallen to defeat in each of their previous four.

Here’s 90min’s preview of this one.

When is kick off? Saturday 12 March, 12:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Amex Stadium, Brighton & Hove
What TV channel is it on? BT Sport 1 (UK), Peacock (US)
Highlights? BT Sport YouTube channel
Who’s the referee? Mike Dean
Who’s the VAR? Stuart Attwell

Potter will have to make do without Adam Webster for this one, with the central defender’s groin injury likely to keep him out of action for a couple more weeks.

Elsewhere, Jeremy Sarmiento and Enock Mwepu are both vying for comebacks sometime soon, although neither are expected to enjoy too much action this weekend – the latter scored a memorable goal at Anfield earlier in the campaign.

As for the visitors, there are no major concerns for Klopp to deal with heading into his side’s trip down south.

Roberto Firmino should come back into the matchday squad after recovering from injury, while Ibrahima Konate represents a slight doubt after picking up a knock earlier in the week.

Liverpool predicted lineup vs Brighton

This one, in truth, shouldn’t be too difficult to call.

Liverpool, excluding their 1-0 defeat to Inter in midweek, come into this encounter in red-hot form and currently seem unstoppable in the Premier League – their pursuit of Manchester City is barnstorming, to say the least.

Meanwhile, Brighton are encountering some real difficulties; they’re struggling to score goals, and not doing a great job at keeping them out – a recipe for disaster.

They’ll do well to buck the current trend this weekend.

Prediction: Brighton 0-2 Liverpool

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Thomas Tuchel insists he’s happy at Chelsea despite Roman Abramovich sanctions

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has spoken publicly for the first time since Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

The Russian oligarch has had his assets frozen and is now unable to sell Chelsea unless he doesn’t benefit from a deal, and the government will have to approve of the transaction regardless.

The Blues will continue to operate under a special licence but have been hit with a number of restrictions, including a transfer embargo and the inability to sell further tickets and merchandise.

Tuchel addressed to the media prior to Chelsea’s Premier League match with Norwich on Thursday, and spoke calmly about the ever-changing situation at Stamford Bridge.

“I don’t know if I’m concerned, but we’re aware of it – and it changes almost every day,” he said.

“We can’t do much about it, I’m still happy to be here and manager of a strong football team. I’m happy to play the match today, I know there’s a lot of noise around but we try our best to focus on football.

“It’s a big change from yesterday to today, but we can’t influence it and we didn’t cause the situation. In the moment, it seems like business is more or less well protected, football wise, but let’s see – it could change tomorrow. 

“It’s not a relief, I feel privileged to have the chance to be involved in games and coaching and that’s what we can do.”

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