Football

Sevilla's Navas: Don't take us lightly

Sevilla's former Man City winger aims to knock Man United out of Europe

Sevilla winger Jesus Navas hopes to make supporters of his former club Manchester City happy - by getting a result against Manchester United.

The 32-year-old Spaniard will face off against Jose Mourinho's men in the Champions League last16, first leg tomorrow morning (Singapore time) and he told the Daily Mirror that he aims to make it tough for his old foes.

Navas spent four years at City, winning the Premier League and two League Cups before returning to Sevilla when his contract ended last summer.

He told the Daily Mirror: "For us, it's all about getting through to the next round.

"But I know it would be nice for some of the friends I've got back in Manchester if we did manage to pull it off and knock out United."

Since returning to Sevilla, Navas has helped his hometown club reach the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona and the Champions League last 16, and Navas has warned their opponents not to take them lightly.

"If people underestimate us, they should look at what we're doing at the moment, our performances, the fact we've got to a final already and we're still in all competitions.

"We're a great side and we can achieve things. United were always our great rivals when I was at City, and we played some really important games against them.

"But now this is a really important game for Sevilla, for the club, for our fans, and it would be great for us to make it to the quarter-finals.

"We know it's going to be a hard game, but we're doing well at the moment and we'll do everything in our power to go through against United."

During the Champions League group stages, Sevilla held Liverpool twice when they were under former coach Eduardo Berizzo, who was sacked in December after a poor run of results.

His replacement Vincenzo Montella did not get off to the best of starts, reported AFP.

In his first league outing, Sevilla lost 5-3 at home to Real Betis, the first time they had conceded five goals to their city rivals and their first derby league defeat since 2012. There was also a crushing 5-1 loss at Eibar earlier this month.

Fifth in La Liga, Sevilla are six points adrift of fourth-placed Real Madrid and they face a tough task qualifying for next season's Champions League.

However, they warmed up for the clash with United by claiming back-to-back league wins over Girona (1-0) and Las Palmas (2-1), during which Navas played at right b ack.

Montella has made some key moves, including confirming Spanish international Sergio Rico as his first-choice goalkeeper and restoring Steven N'Zonzi to the team - the France midfielder had lost his place under Berizzo and looked set to leave last month.

New faces have arrived too, with Roque Mesa and Sandro Ramirez returning to Spain on loan after struggling in England with Swansea City and Everton respectively.

However, the most -used January signing has been Mexican fullback Miguel Layun, but he is ineligible for the United tie having played in this season's Champions League for Porto.

Sevilla have lost on all three previous appearances in the Champions League last 16.

But with Montella gradually making his mark in the Andalusian capital, the hope is that they can shock Mourinho's men and reach a first European Cup quarter-final in 60 years.

Navas will certainly hope to play a part in that and, if they succeed in denying Mourinho's men, he can certainly look forward to a warm reception when he returns to the Etihad.

Football