Sevilla cruised to a 3-0 home win over Fiorentina in the Europa League semifinal first legs with two goals from Aleix Vidal. Napoli ran out of chances, as underdogs Dnipro snatched a crucial away goal late on in Italy.
Sevilla 3-0 Fiorentina
(Aleix Vidal 17‘, 52', Gameiro 76')
It was a solid start for the Italians, who could have been a goal up in the opening five minutes. German international and former Bayern Munich star, Mario Gomez, played in on goal with a defender in pursuit. On his weaker left foot, his effort drifted just over Rico's crossbar.
However, the home side- looking to continue its eight-match unbeaten run at home in Europe – supplied the first goal. Carlos Bacca with his back to the Fiorentina defence had no avenue to shoot, so instead set up Aleix Vidal - the full-back smashing a low drive past a motionless Neto into the bottom corner.
Less than a minute later, the scores should have been level. Spaniard Joaquin found an opening down the left wing and after reaching the goal-line and cutting-back to an unmarked Matias Fernandez, the Chilean's effort went past the post from inside the six-yard box. Mohamed Salah almost amended for Fernandez's mistake soon after, but his effort at the back-post was well saved by Rico.
Fiorentina was made to pay for its lack of finesse in front of goal. Just seven minutes into the second half and Aleix Vidal was played in down the right by Vitolo. Unchallenged, the full-back finished past a despairing Neto who dived away from the oncoming effort - the Spaniard's scoring his second and third goals of the season.
Vidal was involved again as Sevilla put a foot in the Europa League final. Tremoulinas found the defender in the box with a cross from the left and his touch found Kevin Gameiro. The Frenchman, who had just replaced Carlos Bacca, scored with his first touch of the game.
That's how it finished in Seville. The Spanish side continued its unbeaten run at home in European competition this season, now at nine games, whilst Fiorentina will need almost a miracle in Italy to reach the final.
Napoli 1-1 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
(David Lopez 50' – Seleznyov 81')
In the second semifinal, Napoli were left kicking themselves on a largely one-sided night in Naples.
Before the game had started the odds were stacked against Ukranian's Dnipro, with hosts Napoli unbeaten in 12 European games at the Stadio San Paolo and Dnipro in new territory of a European semifinal. And Napoli started the better of the two sides and was the only team playing good football in the first-half. Former Real Madrid pair of Jose Callejon and Gonzalo Higuain almost connected for the opening strike, but Callejon's cross was too strong. Lorenzo Insigne had an effort go past the post in the opening 20 minutes but the tournament's top scorers couldn't find a first-half goal, despite their dominance.
After frustration was shown at the end of the half from the home fans, the crowd would soon have reason to cheer. Just five minutes into the second half, David Lopez broke the deadlock. Rising highest from a corner, the midfielder buried his effort past Denis Boyko.
Napoli was in control, but couldn't find a second goal to kill the game, and Dnipro made the Italians pay. After countless efforts on its goal, the Ukranian underdogs equalized with 10 minutes to play. Yehven Selezynov, who had just come on from the bench, was at hand to poke home after Artem Fedetskiy's cross to the back post. The likes of Higuain, Insigne and Callejon ruing their missed chances as Dnipro earned a dramatic late away goal.
The second legs of both ties will take place next Thursday, with Dnipro and Fiorentina the hosts.