Machin warns Sevilla not to take Lazio lightly

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 30: Pablo Machín Díez the manager of Sevilla FC during the Copa del Rey Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Nou Camp on January 30, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Sevilla manager Pablo Machin warned his squad that their Europa League tie with Lazio is still in the balance following Thursday’s 1-0 first leg win.

Los Rojiblancos claimed a critical advantage at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome by edging out Lazio for a narrow 1-0 win.

French striker Wissam Ben Yedder struck from close-range in the 22nd minute for his 20th goal of the season to give Sevilla the edge heading into next Wednesday’s return leg in Andalusia.

Speaking to reporters after the game, however, Machin remained wary of Lazio’s threat and warned his players that their Round of 32 tie isn’t settled yet.

“This victory corroborates the work we’ve been doing lately and helps build our confidence,” said Machin, as quoted by Football-Italia.

“It was a good performance against a strong opponent in a very balanced game, as the goal favoured our counter-attacking approach.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to make more of our attacks, in part due to the state of the pitch. It wasn’t ideal having to play here after a rugby match and then the Champions League.

“We must not take the second leg lightly, as there is the risk in games like this of believing yourself superior and resting on your laurels. We did well to earn the result, but at 1-0 everything is still in the balance.

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“I can’t say if we are the favourites to win the Europa League again, as first we have to face Lazio at home. Right now, I’d say it’s 60-40 in our favour.

“I have great faith in my team. We’ll give it our all, just as we are sure Lazio will.”

Machin’s side will first turn their attention back to La Liga on Sunday, where they will travel to the Estadio de la Ceramica to take on Villarreal.

Currently, Sevilla are fourth in the standings but have only won twice in their last 10 league outings.