Sevilla FC booked their tickets to the Round of 32 of the Copa del Rey following a cold night in Castilla y León. Although it took some time to take control of the game, it was a foul on Adnan Januzaj in the penalty area which led to a spot-kick, converted by Sergio Ramos, that put us ahead at the half-hour mark. By the second half, the team looked more settled and determined to put the victory to bed, eventually doing so through a header by Federico Gattoni from a corner. The comfortable victory proved to be the perfect occasion for Diego Alonso to give minutes to young stars Darío and Manu Bueno, who both stood out on the night.
In frosty conditions, the home side had the first real chance of the game, Ivi Vales forcing Dmitrovic into action. In truth, the first half was somewhat scrappy, the passes lacking precision on an icy outfield. However, we took the lead after half an hour when Januzaj was awarded a penalty. Following good work down the right by Darío, Januzaj was brought down by a clumsy challenge and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped our captain for the night, Sergio Ramos, who dispatched a confident penalty into the bottom left corner. The keeper stayed rooted to his spot, possibly even expecting Ramos to attempt a Panenka! We grew in confidence after taking the lead and came close to a second through Rafa Mir and Jordán.
Ramos's penalty opened the scoring, before a Gattoni header sealed the victory
The team started the second half a little more lively, with the aim of putting the game to bed. Jordán could have scored the second from a direct free-kick and shortly after Rafa Mir has a chance but the Astorga goalkeeper kept them at bay. However, he was powerless to keep out Gattoni's header from Jordán's corner, which nestled in the top corner midway through the second.The clearest chance for Los Leoneses came just after we took a 2-0 lead, when Peláez's went through one-on-one but failed to find the target.
Atlético Astorga were forced to push up in the closing stages as they sought to find a way back into the game late on, giving us the chance to launch several counterattacks that just lacked the final touch. The introductions of Ocampos and Gudelj after the hour mark gave strengthened our grip on the tie, with Oso also handed a first-team debut in injury time at the end of the second period. We were ultimately able to see out the contest in relative ease and a 2-0 win has us awaiting the Round-of-32 draw, which takes place next Tuesday, the same day we face Lens in an all-or-nothing away European encounter at 18:45 CET with our chances of continental competition in the new year hinging on the result. Before this however, a crucial league match at Mallorca awaits on Saturday.