Alvarez switches focus to league
Sevilla coach Antonio Alvarez has urged his team not to wallow in their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Braga as they prepare for Saturday's Primera Division opener at Levante.
The Portuguese side clinched a place in the lucrative UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time at the expense of their Spanish opponents with a 5-3 aggregate win.
Lima netted a hat-trick as Braga won 4-3 in Spain following their 1-0 first-leg triumph to consign Sevilla to a UEFA Europa League berth.
"I am downcast, as Sevilla coach, but this is football and we must not bury our heads," Alvarez told the club's official website. "It was a bad result but we know this is fixed with a good result. We have to think about Saturday's first league match."
Goals from Matheus after 31 minutes and Lima after 58 minutes, three minutes after he came on as a substitute, put the visitors 3-0 up on aggregate. Luis Fabiano pulled a goal back after 60 minutes and Jesus Navas drew Sevilla level on the night after 84 minutes.
However, one minute later Lima netted his second before he added his third, leaving Frederic Kanoute's stoppage-time strike in vain.
"We approached the match knowing we were facing a good team," Alvarez said. "We knew about them after the game we played there. Unfortunately, the first time they came into the area, I think, they scored the first and that was a strong blow for the team.
"We thought it was possible to come back. We were preparing to make some changes but then we conceded the second. The team suffered and we played more with the heart than the head."
Alvarez has no plans to make any hasty moves in the transfer market as a result of last night's setback. "I will speak calmly about these things," he said. "I am not a person to be nervous of the first change but I think things through coolly. I hope the players can raise their level and improve. I trust a lot in this group."