Dominant Eibar's lack of cutting edge sees them leave Seville empty-handed
The Armeros slipped to a 2-0 reverse against Sevilla on a night when they deserved better
Eibar dominated proceedings and played some fine football at the Sánchez-Pizjuán, however, the visitors ultimately lacked the cutting edge to have secured a better result against one of La Liga's heavyweights.
The Armeros got on the front foot right from the first whistle and set the tempo as virtually all of the play was concentrated in the hosts' half. The game was unfolding exactly how José Luis Mendilibar had hoped, but his side were lacking the incision to threaten Sevilla's goal.
The Eibar players were coming out on top in most of their individual battles and picked up a lot of the second balls, but Sevilla's defensive organisation prevented the visitors from troubling Sergio Rico.
As for the home side, they sought to pose a threat on the counter-attack and they made their first chance of the night count to get their noses in front on 31'. A fine cross from Stefan Jovetic from the left by-line picked out Pablo Sarabia, who found himself unmarked to stroke the ball past Yoel.
Despite falling behind, Eibar didn't crumble and continued to pour forward. In the 35th minute, Rubén Peña fought for a ball in the area and found himself through with just Rico to beat, but the Sevillian custodian kept his effort out.
There was no change to the script in the second period as Eibar continued to control the tempo and Sevilla found themselves unable to counter the visitors' domination. On 50' Rico comfortably gathered in a Sergi Enrich header following a cross from the right from Pedro León, who was heavily involved throughout the 90 minutes.
As the minutes ticked away, a lack of goalscoring chances left Eibar's hopes of picking up anything from this tough away assignment looking all the more remote.
With 77 minutes on the clock, Rico - who was one of his side's standout performers - had to scurry across his goalline to keep out an Antonio Luna cross-shot from the left, which was creeping inside his near post.
As Eibar poured forward in the closing minutes, Sevilla capitalised on the gaps in the visitors' backline to put the game to rest through an injury-time goal from Vitolo.
The Armeros leave Seville empty-handed and with the feeling that they could have very well been coming away from one of the toughest away grounds in La Liga with a positive result. Eibar have lofty ambitions and aren't satisfied with having given one of Europe's leading sides a real game. Mendilibar's charges have the opportunity to bounce back next Saturday, when Málaga are the visitors to Ipurua.