French striker Kevin Gameiro scored twice after missing a first-half penalty to help Sevilla beat RC Celta de Vigo 4-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Thursday.
Gameiro had his penalty saved by Celta goalkeeper Ruben Blanco in the 28th minute, but made amends with goals from counterattacks in the 59th and 62nd minutes. Fellow Frenchman Adil Rami had put Sevilla on the board with a header just before halftime, and Danish midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli rounded off the scoring in the 87th.
The second leg is next week in Vigo. Defending champion Barcelona routed Valencia 7-0 in the first leg of the other semi-final on Wednesday.
“I’m very satisfied because I think we played a very complete match in many aspects. We made things difficult for Celta,” Sevilla coach Unai Emery said. “But we have to remain cautious. We cannot forget that Celta already defeated Barcelona 4-1 in their stadium [this season].”
Sevilla and Celta created good scoring chances from the start at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville, but the hosts were in control for most of the match.
Blanco had made two difficult saves just before Celta defender Sergi Gomez fouled Machin Vitolo inside the area to concede the penalty. However, the goalkeeper stopped Gameiro’s spot-kick by diving to his left to make the save.
Rami finally opened the scoring with a header off a corner in the 45th, and Gameiro added his goals by taking advantage of the open space left by the Celta defense in the second half. Both times he started his run from Sevilla’s own half before getting in front of Blanco in one-on-one situations.
Celta’s best chance was a header from Sergi Gomez that hit the crossbar in the first half.
It was the first of three games between Sevilla and Celta in a week. The teams are slated to meet in a Spanish La Liga game tomorrow in Vigo.
Seeking their first Copa del Rey title, Celta made it to the semifinals by upsetting Atletico Madrid in the quarters. The last time they reached the final was in 2001, when they lost to Real Zaragoza after eliminating Barcelona in the semis.
Sevilla, which last won the competition in 2010, is the only team to have won all of their seven Copa del Rey matches this season. They have outscored opponents 20-0 during the streak.
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