The manager praised his team's effort despite only taking a point in the Champions League opener
Lopetegui was then asked about the referee's performance: "The referee has done his job, but clearly we're not happy because he's given three penalties against us, sent a player off when there was an offside... he was giving us yellow cards for very little, but focusing on the refereeing doesn't help us much either". Changing the subject, he spoke about his team's attitude despite the circumstances: "We're happy with the team's effort and mentality, but we're never happy with a point because we always want to win. We started off very well and had a lot of problems, but I think the team has recovered and we managed to overcome a good opponent".
To finish, Lopetegui was grateful for being able "to rely on the fans' support in this type of situation", before congratulating the Sporting Director for reaching 1000 matches in charge: "Monchi will reach whatever number of matches he wants. 1000 matches says a lot about the extraordinary career he's had".
"Mistakes in the Champions League are punished in a very direct way", stated Rakitic
The Croatian midfielder then spoke about the three Salzburg penalties: "I don't know if this has ever happened in the Champions League, but mistakes are punished in a very direct way, you can't allow it. We had prepared well, but they took advantage of their depth and that did not help our game plan".
"We played for a long time with one man less and that's not easy, you have to congratulate the team for the struggle and we went closer to a second than they did", commented Rakitic. He finished by thanking "all the fans for coming, it's great to feel their support and strength again".
The visitors scored one of their three penalties before Rakitic levelled the scores with one of his own
FC Salzburg missed two of their three first-half penalties
Before Rakitic’s equaliser, the Austrian side had contrived to miss two of their penalties, with only Sucic scoring the second of the three penalties after a Jesús Navas foul. However, he would then miss the third penalty after his shot hit the post, with Bono penalised for a foul in that instance. Adeyemi took the first penalty, awarded due to a tackle by Diego Carlos, but his effort went wide. Aside from those chances, Lopetegui’s side were actually on top, creating chances but without truly threatening Köhn. Papu Gómez and En-Nesyri had some chances, but only the four penalties will really be remembered.
Lopetegui started the second half with a double change, bringing on Ocampos and Delaney for Suso and Jordán, but things did not get too much better for the hosts. After a strong save by Bono, En-Nesyri went forward and was given a second yellow for simulation, reducing the hosts to 10 men. FC Salzburg then had 40 minutes with an extra man on the field.
Lamela and Rafa Mir came off the bench to help 10-man Sevilla dominate
Lamela and Rafa Mir were then brought on as Sevilla looked to seize all three points despite their disadvantage. The Argentine, in particular, displayed tremendous individual quality, and the striker nearly scored after a long run by Lamela. The winger then went close a few minutes later but his shot went just wide. Sevilla continued to press for the equaliser and spent a lot of time in opposition territory.
Despite six minutes of added time and the Sevilla dominance, it was FC Salzburg who came closest to a stoppage-time winner, but a magnificent save from Bono kept the scores level and secure a hard-fought point for the Nervionenses. Lopetegui’s side will visit Wolfsburg in 15 days for the second Group Stage match.
1. SEVILLA FC: Bono, Jesús Navas (Montiel, 87), Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña, Fernando, Jordán (Delaney, 46), Rakitic (Rafa Mir, 64), Suso (Ocampos, 46), Papu Gómez (Lamela, 57) and En-Nesyri
1. FC SALZBURG: Köhn, Kristensen, Solet, Wöber (Piatkowski, 51), Ulmer, Camara, Aaronson, Sucic, Seiwald (Capaldo, 79), Sesko (Adamu, 67) and Adeyemi (Okafor, 79)
GOALS: 0-1 Sucic, 21 (penalty). 1-1 Rakitic, 41 (penalty).
REFREE: Alexey Kulbakov. Bookings for Diego Carlos, Seiwald, En-Nesyri (dismissed for a second yellow card), Rakitic, Delaney, Jesús Navas, Capaldo, Camara and Okafor.