Spartak storms to 5-1 win over Sevilla in Champions League
By JAMES ELLINGWORTH
Oct. 17, 2017
MOSCOW (AP) — Spartak Moscow sliced apart Sevilla with rapid counterattacks to beat the Spanish team 5-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The Russian team is level with Liverpool on five points at the top of Group E. Sevilla dropped from first to third after a result its coach Eduardo Berizzo called "very tough." Liverpool is top on goal difference.
Quincy Promes headed the Russian champion's opening goal in the 18th minute, eventually finishing with two goals and two assists. Simon Kjaer leveled for Sevilla from a corner in the 30th.
Sevilla put Spartak under heavy pressure at the start of the second half, but was left vulnerable at the back.
Spartak hit back hard as first Lorenzo Melgarejo scored off Promes's pass in the 58th, then captain Denis Glushakov volleyed in Dmitry Kombarov's cross in the 67th.
Luiz Adriano rounded the keeper to bag Spartak's fourth goal, again off a pass from Promes, who added Spartak's fifth.
"I think Spartak played its ideal game today, leaving the minimum for the opposition," Spartak coach Massimo Carrera said. Sevilla had tested Spartak's defense to the limit "but that doesn't take anything away from the guys, who played brilliantly today."
Spartak goalkeeper Alexander Selikhov made crucial saves against Liverpool in his team's previous group match, and was again on good form against Sevilla.
Selikhov kept out Michael Krohn-Dehli with an acrobatic stop just before halftime, and leapt to save from Wissam Ben Yedder in the 50th. Only a goal-line clearance from Dmitry Kombarov in the 54th kept out another effort from Ben Yedder.
"After Spartak scored its second, we started to make mistake after mistake," Sevilla's Berizzo said. "The mistakes at the back are clear and we have to work on those and fix them."
Spartak midfielder Alexander Samedov was stretchered off in the first half with what Carrera said was a hamstring injury.
Liverpool demolished Maribor 7-0 in the other group game.
Spartak could face further UEFA punishment after its supporters used smoke bombs and other pyrotechnics to celebrate a goal.
The Russian club will already be without away fans against Sevilla as punishment for firing a flare which landed near a referee in an earlier game. UEFA is investigating four other charges, including one of racist abuse in a youth game.
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