Europa League holders Sevilla beat Feyenoord 2-0 in the opening match of Group G at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. The Spaniards took an early lead through Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, which was doubled when Stephane Mbia headed in a free-kick. Feyenoord – who had not won a European away tie since the first round of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup – hit the woodwork through midfielder Jens Toornstra, but could not get themselves back into the tie. Sevilla had powered into the lead after just eight minutes. Mbia flicked on a free-kick by Gerard Deulofeu, which Krychowiak swept past Feyenoord goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. The Dutch side, beaten in the Champions League play-offs by Besiktas, enjoyed a spell of possession, but when they did fashion an opening, Australian defender Luke Wilkshire's ambitious long-range shot sailed over the crossbar. On 31 minutes, Sevilla, second in La Liga, went 2-0 ahead as Deulofeu's free-kick from the left was headed in by Mbia from 12 yards. Feyenoord came within inches of pulling a goal back nine minutes before half-time when a 20-yard free-kick from Toornstra struck the post. Vermeer had to be alert to keep out Deulofeu. At the start of the second half, Sevilla defender Thimothee Kolodzieczak headed the ball wide after a corner, before Jose Antonio Reyes, the former Arsenal striker, spooned his effort over the bar. Toornstra was denied again during the closing stages, this time by a save from the Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Reyes then spurned another good chance for the home side and Deulofeu was also denied in stoppage time, but the points were already safe.
Football EUROPA LEAGUE