The Sevilla coach regrets the chance lost by En-Nesyri in the 87th minute, when he went hand in hand with Neuer
It is the era of soccer with scientific aspiration and encouraged by the fortune that the industry promises, a growing crowd of attendees support the coaches in marathon days of analysis. Between all they examine videos, figures, formulas, to unravel, they say, those things they call “details” and which, from what they say, are the chicha of the most competitive parties. This overwhelming dedication is supposed to result in a more sophisticated, more subtle, more spectacular game. But the European Super Cup – the great opening night of the season – was only unlocked with the play that the founding fathers of football had to patent. The arcane of quantum football turned out to be the ball to the pot.
“It’s a team with a great tactical culture,” Bayern coach Flick warned about Sevilla on the eve of the final. Whatever this is, Sevilla did not exhibit greater culture than that dictated by the old Jesús Navas. At 34 years old, this skinny man with the air of a faun gathers the wisdom of longtime footballers, which is transmitted to the rest of the team through the language of the pass until they all behave as one person.
After ten minutes of the game, Navas organized the start from his area, feeding Diego Carlos to lead the march. The initial pressure from Lewandowski and Gnabry was broken, the ball returned to Navas’ feet in midfield, Suso received it by throwing himself into the middle and the captain doubled it outside. Hand-in-hand with Hernandez, he dribbled him out and shifting to his less precise leg tricked his markers by crossing with his left foot. It was a center to the pot thrown by a master of the pass. Straight to the far post for De Jong to lower him to the penalty spot, where the third man, Rakitic, appeared faster than Alaba to discover the sense of delivery.
Anyone knows about centers. With classy centers, Navas knows. Bayern knows about hanging centers at will, a team that, rather than advancing, invades. By land and by air. With a Kimmich cross at the far post finished off by Coman, he won the last Champions League in the Lisbon final. With a Müller cross – he hit the outside from the right – the far post tied Sevilla. Lewandowski prodded it ahead of Koundé and Goretzka put it coming from behind.
Notably inflamed by the presence of the public in the stands, the game had more pace than quality. It culminated, in the line drawn, with a center. From a corner in favor of Bayern, he ended up heading to the net Javi Martínez, who this year had started a couple of times. He entered extra time and took the glory destined for the author of the final 2-1. Yassine Bono, the Sevilla goalkeeper, cleared Alaba’s shot that preceded the header into the middle of the area. “I found that ball and couldn’t react to deflect it to the side,” Bono lamented. “Great teams punish you with little.”
Javi Martínez was excited. “My teammates asked me about Sevilla and I told them that for me it is the best Spanish team in recent months,” said the Riojan in Movistar, after the celebration. “It was a great game and luckily we were able to score the winning goal. For me it is an unforgettable night. It may be my last game with Bayern. I’ve been at this club for nine years and saying goodbye like that would be incredible ”.
“It was a very close match,” said Jesús Navas. “We had our chances. We have not managed to score the second goal and in the end they have. You have to get up! ”.
The message of encouragement went to En Nesyri, who could not put the clearest chance of the night, hand in hand with Neuer in the 87th minute. “Bayern are a vintage team,” lamented Julen Lopetegui, the Sevilla coach. “And vintage teams have to be killed in these kinds of opportunities. We were 1-1 and it would have been an almost definitive goal. To beat them we had to push them to the limit and I think that if En Nesyri couldn’t score it was because in front of him was the best goalkeeper in the world ”.