Sevilla and Salzburg shatter Champions League record amid penalty farce
Sevilla and Red Bull Salzburg played out a chaotic opening day Champions League match which was mired in farce and set a new Champions League record.
A remarkable four penalties were awarded in the opening 40 minutes in Seville before the home side’s striker Youssef En-Nesyri was shown a second yellow card early in the second half for diving inside the penalty area.
It was the first time that four penalties had been awarded in a Champions League encounter over the course of 90 minutes and was all the more remarkable as all were awarded in the space of 30 chaotic first half minutes.
German international striker Karim Adeyemi incredibly won three quickfire penalties for the visitors - of which two were missed - before Sevilla levelled with a penalty of their own before half-time.
Teenager Adeyemi won the first penalty of the game in the 13 th minute after being felled by central defender Diego Carlos, but the striker was unable to convert from the spot.
Eight minutes later, Luka Sucic made no mistake from 12 yards after Adeyemi was again felled inside the area - this time by former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas - to open the scoring.
Sucic was kept on penalty duties for the next spot kick, in the 37 th minute, after Adeyemi was this time felled clumsily by the home side’s goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bonnou, but the Croatian teenager was unsuccessful.
The visitors were made to pay for this wastefulness five minutes later when the home side drew level from the spot through midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
After a VAR check, former Sevilla defender Maximilian Woeber was penalised for barging striker En-Nesyri inside the area and Rakitic made no mistake from the spot.
There was an equally chaotic opening to the second half as the home side were reduced to ten men after En-Nesyri was shown a second yellow card for diving inside the area - attempting to win another penalty.
It was another moment of controversy as the Moroccan striker had been correctly flagged offside by the assistant referee in retrospect, but the referee’s decision to punish him stood and Sevilla had to play the final 40 minutes with a player less.
Despite the confusion, the laws of the game state that referee decisions are not overturned unless in the event that a yellow card or dismissal are shown for stopping a promising attacking move.
Sevilla - who have won a record five Europa League titles - are aiming to reach the Champions League knockout stages for the second successive season while Salzburg are hopeful of progressing through the groups for the first time in their history.
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