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Sevilla seal Champions League qualification after Lyon draw

Sevilla qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League after holding Lyon to a goalless draw.

French side Lyon needed to win by two clear goals to pip their rivals to second spot in Group H behind Juventus but, despite hitting the woodwork twice, could not find a breakthrough.

The result means Sevilla will not be challenging for a fourth successive Europa League title, with Lyon going into the second-tier competition instead.

Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, who was hit by a firecracker at Metz at the weekend in a Ligue 1 game that was subsequently abandoned, was passed fit while Samir Nasri returned for Sevilla following a month out with a hamstring injury.

The hosts wasted no time setting about their task and Mathieu Valbuena would have put them ahead in the third minute but for an excellent fingertip save from Sergio Rico.

The dangerous midfielder then appealed for a penalty after going down under a challenge from Mariano Ferreira but there did not appear to be much contact.

Sevilla’s Vitolo had a better penalty shout, also not given, and then came within a whisker of putting the visitors ahead when he latched onto Nasri’s pinpoint pass and curled a shot against a post with Lopes beaten.

In the 24th minute it was Lyon’s turn to hit the woodwork, Rafael sending in another wicked cross that was headed into the ground and against the bar by Corentin Tolisso from close range.

Alexandre Lacazette then had a shot blocked and Lyon were cursing their luck once again in the 37th minute as Tolisso set off on a driving run before playing in Valbuena, who curled his shot against the bar.

Sergi Darder had the first opening of the second half, seizing on Lacazette’s pass but seeing his shot blocked by the flying body of a defender.

Sevilla continued to offer a threat on the break and they would have scored had Valbuena not shown great anticipation in defence to clear the ball off the toes of Gabriel Mercado.

Credit:PA SPORT@ESPN.COM

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