Sevilla fans say farewell to Lopetegui after Dortmund defeat
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Jude Bellingham led Borussia Dortmund to a 4-1 win at Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday when the home fans bid farewell to coach Julen Lopetegui after what proved to be his last game in charge.
Sevilla fired the Basque coach immediately after the match, thanking him for “his professionalism and hard work in the more than three years he spent at the club.” The expected move came after a poor start to the season for Sevilla.
Bellingham scored for the third straight game in the competition and set up another goal as Dortmund consolidated second place in Group G. It’s three points behind Manchester City, which has a perfect nine points after a 5-0 rout of Copenhagen in the other game.
The defeat was the last Lopetegui had to endure as Sevilla coach. His team had one win from its opening 10 games of the season. The Spanish club is expected to announce the return of Jorge Sampaoli in the coming days. Sampaoli previously coached Sevilla to fourth place before leaving to coach his native Argentina in 2017.
Sevilla fans waited after the final whistle to applaud an emotional Lopetegui, who turned to them and returned the gesture in a sign of mutual appreciation. Fans chanted his name. It was clear the supporters do not blame the coach for the team’s travails.
The club then confirmed his departure.
Raphaël Guerreiro got Dortmund off to a flying start when he took Bellingham’s cross-field ball with his first touch and blasted it past Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou with his next.
The visitors kept pushing and looked to have a clear advantage when Youssef En-Nesyri was shown a red card for hauling down Salih Özcan as three Dortmund players bore down on the Sevilla goal.
But referee Maurizio Mariani consulted replays and saw Karim Adeyemi had fouled Jesús Navas to start the counterattack. Mariani rescinded the red card and awarded Sevilla a free kick.
Dortmund’s reserve goalkeeper Alexander Meyer made a brilliant save to deny En-Nesyri in the 37th and the unmarked José Carmona fired over from the resultant corner.
The misses were symptomatic for the home team.
Bellingham got Dortmund’s second with a fine solo move in the 41st. The 19-year-old England star – captaining the team in the absence of the injured Marco Reus and Mats Hummels – ran straight to coach Edin Terzić to celebrate.
Adeyemi got the third two minutes later, lashing in the rebound after Youssoufa Moukoko’s shot was saved.
The traveling supporters’ celebrations were almost drowned out by whistles from the Sevilla fans. It was the 12th goal they had seen their team concede at home in four games without scoring – and it was only halftime.
Lopetegui reacted with two changes at the break and was rewarded with more fight from his team. En-Nesyri pulled one back with a header to a corner in the 51st.
There was barely a reaction from Lopetegui, who remained in his dugout and took a sip of water.
Moukoko drew a good save before Sevilla went on to rue several missed chances at the other end.
Moukoko floated in a cross for Julian Brandt to seal the win with a header in the 75th.
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