2015/16 UEFA Europa League, Third Round
  • Steven N'Zonzi (87')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Steven Nzonzi dismissed as Basel and Sevilla play to stalemate

Holders Sevilla had Steven Nzonzi sent off as they played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at Basel.

Nzonzi, the former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder, was dismissed three minutes from time for a second bookable offence, forcing the Spanish side to settle for 0-0.

The sending off occurred just as Sevilla, after a dull first half, had upped the tempo in search of a winner and forced Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik into some good saves.

Basel lacked dynamism throughout but did spurn some good chances, including one early on when Marc Janko headed wide from a well-weighted Renato Steffen cross.

Nzonzi then failed to hit the target with a header at the other end after Coke volleyed across the area.

Birkir Bjarnason got into a threatening position for Basel after Taulant Xhaka lifted a ball over the defence but he failed to control and the chance was lost.

Sevilla finished the half the stronger but did not test Vaclik. Coke volleyed over and then had another effort blocked after a clever low free kick by Ever Banega. Nzonzi headed wide for a second time just before the break.

The hosts started the second period more positively and Bjarnason passed up another opening when he blasted over after a Steffen shot was blocked and rebounded kindly.

Bjarnason then turned provider with a good low ball from the right but Adama Traore could not make clean contact in front of goal.

Sevilla went close on the hour as Nzonzi showed good control to take down a Banega ball but Vaclik rushed off his line to block. Vaclik was in action again soon after to turn away a shot from Kevin Gameiro and then smother a strike from Yevhen Konoplyanka.

Sevilla finished with 10 men after Nzonzi, harshly booked for clipping Steffen earlier, was shown a second yellow card for catching Bjarnason high with his arm.