Ibra set for Man Utd return with Milan

First-half flurry helps Europa League holders Sevilla to a 3-0 win over Basel


Europa League holders Sevilla coasted into the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Basel at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

The Spanish side, who had left Switzerland with a goalless draw in the first leg, swept into a 35th-minute lead through a header by defender Adil Rami.

Kevin Gameiro tapped in a second two minutes before the break and quickly made Basel pay for more lax defending when scoring at third goal for the hosts just before half-time after a close-range shot had come back off the crossbar.

Sevilla, victorious in their previous 10 home Europa League ties and looking to set a competition record run, started brightly.

In the fifth minute Michael Krohn-Dehli laid the ball off to Gameiro on the left side of the Basel penalty area, but his angled drive was straight at Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

Krohn-Dehli had a sight of goal himself in the 25th minute when a free-kick from captain Jose Antonio Reyes was knocked out to the edge of the box, but the Danish midfielder dragged his shot wide from 20 yards.

Basel, who had lost only once in six European away games this season, threatened on the break when a cross from the right dropped across the Sevilla penalty area, where Renato Steffen drilled an angled effort goalwards, which was held by goalkeeper David Soria.

Sevilla took the lead when Rami stooped to head a corner from Reyes in off the far post.

The French defender then soon almost netted an own goal at the other end, when deflecting a corner towards the Sevilla net, but Soria made a smart reaction save.

The lead was doubled when Reyes charged down the right and cut the ball back through a crowded six-yard box, where defender Daniel Hoegh failed to clear and Gameiro tapped the ball over the line for his 20th goal of the campaign.

Before Basel could regroup, they were 3-0 down.

Krohn-Dehli robbed Hoegh out on the left, and darted into the penalty area before picking out Gameiro, whose shot looped up on to the crossbar, before dropping back to the striker, who stabbed it past Vaclik to effectively end the tie as a contest before half-time.

Despite having secured a place in Friday's quarter-final draw, Sevilla went looking for more goals in the second half.

On 54 minutes, substitute Sergio Escudero drilled a 20-yard effort wide after an outswinging corner from Reyes.

Basel, whose St Jakob-Park Stadium is set to host the Europa League final on May 18, tried to regain some positives when Alexander Fransson created space at the edge of the Sevilla penalty area, but sent his shot over the bar.

The tempo of the match dropped through the closing stages, with the hard work already done by Unai Emery's men as they aim to win the Europa League for a third successive campaign.

In stoppage time, Escudero cleared Breel Embolo's shot off the line before the Basel substitute blasted another late chance over after cutting into the penalty area.

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