Christoph Kramer, Fabian Johnson and Oscar Wendt were all guilty of spurning good chances for Gladbach, leaving Vicente Iborra to capitalise on the Foals’ wastefulness with a 70th-minute strike that gives the Spaniards a slender advantage to take to Germany next Thursday.
The current holders and three-time winners of Europe’s second-tier competition were expected to pose a stern test for Lucien Favre’s Borussia, but the visitors enjoyed the better of the first-half chances at the Estadio Ramon Sanches Pizjuan. Sergio Rico did well to save Kramer’s goal-bound effort after 20 minutes, before the 21-year-old custodian pulled off another fine stop to deny Johnson from point-blank range.
The hosts, by contrast, were struggling to pierce a disciplined and industrious Gladbach rearguard, with Jose Antonio Reyes’ long-range effort the closest they came to troubling Yann Sommer’s goal during the first 45 minutes. On the rare occasions Unai Emery’s team did manage to break forward, they were unable to find the right pass to unlock the visiting defence.
Gladbach could and perhaps should have taken a deserved lead six minutes into the second half when Wendt found himself in acres of space on the left side of the penalty area, but the Swedish international could only scuff his shot wide off the mark. Sevilla gradually began to exert more pressure on Borussia as the second half wore on, and were rewarded for their efforts after 70 minutes.
Diogo Figueiras got the better of Wendt on the right-hand side before sending over a teasing cross to Iborra, who managed to steer the ball beyond the outstretched right arm of Sommer to give the home side the lead. Mönchengladbach threw bodies forward in the closing stages, but were left to rue the lack of an away goal to take back to the Borussia-Park for next week’s second leg.
Sevilla: Sergio Rico - Vidal (Deulofeu, 90'), Pareja, Daniel Carrico, Fernando Navarro - Iborra, Krychowiak - Vitolo, Banega (Denis Suarez, 88'), Reyes (Diogo, 55') - Bacca
Gladbach: Sommer - Jantschke, Stranzl, Alvaro Dominguez, Wendt - Kramer, Xhaka - Hazard, Johnson - Raffael (Kruse, 79'), Hrgota (Herrmann, 69')
Goal: Iborra (70')