MADRID (Reuters) – As if losing at last season’s Champions League runners-up Juventus on Wednesday was not enough for one week, Sevilla have only two days to regroup before Barcelona, the team that beat the Italians in the final, visit in La Liga.
Sevilla coach Unai Emery admitted the Europa League holders were comprehensively outplayed in the 2-0 Group D defeat in Turin and said that while the team had defended quite well they badly needed more punch going forward.
Juve had 24 attempts on goal, with six on target, while Sevilla only managed one shot, albeit on target, and did not win a single corner.
“We have to look forward,” Emery told a news conference.
“It’s a learning experience and we have to draw conclusions so we can improve,” he added.
“Because the feeling is that the team has not improved enough and we need to be capable of doing more in attack.”
Sevilla qualified for Europe’s elite club competition by winning a second consecutive Europa League crown last term.
They have made a stuttering start to their latest La Liga campaign and are 16th with only five points from six games.
Emery might feel more confident than usual about getting a result against Barca, however, given that the Spanish and European champions have been hit by injuries to key players including Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Rafinha.
Messi has been a particular thorn in the Andalusian team’s side in recent years and broke the La Liga scoring record with a hat-trick when Barca beat Sevilla 5-1 at the Nou Camp last season.
In the return game at the Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla came back from two goals down to rescue a 2-2 draw.
“We have to be excited about Saturday’s game,” Emery said.
“Now we have to focus on the (domestic) league and help the players recover.
“We want to sort out our position in the standings and what better chance than against a Barca who will challenge us.”
(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)