Sevilla won a hard-fought ticket to the last 16 of the Copa del Rey. He will be in the draw on Friday, January 22 (1:00 p.m.) and will dispute his commitment on the 26, 27, or 28 of the same month. The Andalusian team has reached the same round in which it was dropped a year ago, on January 30, in the first major crisis or blow suffered by the Julen Lopetegui project at the head of Sevilla. Almost 12 months later, he has extended his contract until 2024 and has a loan that is nothing like the one at the beginning. He is also going for the Cup.

Although the conditions of this course can unbalance the balance. Because this Seville, who rarely falls in love, but wins much more than loses needs all its troops to continue advancing with a firm step on all fronts. Too many for a team that started competing almost four months ago and has already accumulated 27 matches in its backpack. Up to eight less usual players jumped from the start to Leganés and had to go to extra time to get the long-awaited classification. Sevilla rarely crushes their adversaries, leaving them alive until the end, although it ends up subduing them. It is the Lopetegui method. A way of playing that becomes more acute in the Cup. Because, as the coach himself recognized, in the Cup, you cannot make any mistakes.

With that premise, Sevilla appeared at the Wanda. Better not be mistaken that the opportunity to win will come. A plan that went well in the end, but that left them feeling that the coach has little to throw at when players from the starting eleven fall. In fact, the departure of men like Ocampos and Koundé was essential to give the team the necessary strength and for the winning goal to arrive, the work of the Argentine. The least common part by part. In defense, Aleix Vidal would show again, as soon as they let him loose on the offensive plot that he is for something more than for the cup minutes. Sergi was also on the right track, although the Kunde-Diego Carlos couple is immovable, in addition to two physical marvels that can play almost anything. Rekik is not lateral. Too well off-key in defense. In the core, one of lime and sand. Gudelj complied with what was requested. And between Oliver and Oscar, the Extremaduran in addition to giving a magnificent assist was the one who best understood the game.

If Lopetegui gave him true confidence. His final leap is always expected, with the parasitic incumbent for lack of real competition. With Oscar, the reason for his few real opportunities begins to be understood. He lives from his beating (superb), but as an interior, he has unforgivable losses. Flee the simple pass and that in this Seville is penalized. More because from the area that starts you have to give nine telegraphs and invent one, not the other way around. And as for the attack. Munir is still missing, far from last year’s level in the final stretch.

Only by playing inside is he able to contribute. Lopetegui has already pulled his ears; Idrissi deserves to play with the headlines sometime he tries relentlessly while De Jong has lost the only thing that kept him standing: confidence. With all this, Sevilla is already in the eighth of the Cup. And of the Champions League. And with one game less than their real competitors two with Real to finish the first round in the Champions zone. Step by step.