Julen Lopetegui warned ‘the biggest team in the world’ Manchester United that Sevilla will be ready for Sunday’s Europa League semi-final clash.
A late Lucas Ocampos header proved the difference as Sevilla claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Wolves in the Europa League quarter-finals.
The record five-time winners will now head to the semi-finals to face Manchester United, who overcame Copenhagen 1-0 after extra-time on Tuesday. Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk will then await in the final.
“We are going to play against Manchester United in the next match – they’re the biggest team in the world but we’re going to be prepared for them,” said Lopetegui as quoted on the Mirror.
“We’re focused on the next game, against a top, historic side, one of the best in the history of the sport who are in great form.
“We will give our best as we always do. To play against them will be really tough, but we’ll go into it believing we can beat them.”
Sevilla enjoyed the lion’s share of possession (75%) and shots (18) against Wolves. On paper at least, that suggests the Andalusians were the better team. However, they were wasteful in front of goal with only five shots on target.
Yassine Bounou saving Raul Jimenez’s penalty, meanwhile, was debatable. The goalkeeper seemed off his line and defender Diego Carlos actually entered the box before the spot-kick was taken. A VAR review, though, deemed there was no infringement.
Ocampos then headed home Ever Banega’s cross in the final two minutes of normal time to send Sevilla into their seventh Europa League semi-final, leaving Lopetegui satisfied.
“I think we deserved the win today,” said the Sevilla manager.
“The key was to chip, chip, chip away, have patience and wait until the right moment.
“I am very proud of my players because we were against a very good team. We needed to have the ball and not make mistakes because they have very fast forwards.
“We played very well against a good team. We had to be very concentrated.”