Steve Cooper admitted Dean Henderson being ineligible for Nottingham Forest's EFL Cup semi-final tie against Manchester United "put a dampener" on Wednesday's quarter-final win against Wolves.

Henderson was the hero in a tense penalty shoot-out at the City Ground after Raul Jimenez cancelled out Willy Boly's opener in a 1-1 draw, denying Ruben Neves and Joe Hodge as Forest triumphed 4-3.

However, the on-loan goalkeeper will be unable to feature in the final four after Forest were drawn to face his parent club United, leaving Cooper frustrated.

Asked about Henderson's situation in his post-match press conference, Cooper said: "It is unfortunate. That has put a bit of a dampener on it."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Cooper hailed the goalkeeper's performance, saying: "We felt ready [for the penalty shoot-out], we did plan and prepare for it with Dean and the outfield guys, but even with that, it was still a bit of the luck of the gods. 

"Dean was fantastic in the 90 minutes in keeping the ball out of the net, and he carried that over to the shoot-out."

Cooper was not overly enthusiastic about Forest's performance, however, adding: "I'm chuffed for the supporters and players. 

"The objective of the tie was to get through. I can't say I loved our performance, I shouldn't be too negative and I won't be, but we have to play a lot better than we did for large spells of the game."

Meanwhile, Wolves counterpart Julen Lopetegui was frustrated by Graham Scott's failure to award a penalty when Matheus Nunes appeared to be fouled by Emmanuel Dennis late on, with no VAR in place to overturn the decision.

"It was very clear. Matheus went to control the ball and he didn't allow him to do it. It is very clear, we have seen the image," he said.

"Maybe I will have to review my knowledge of the rules. Maybe they are different. We have to accept it. The referee is the one who has the power to say yes or no. They don't have VAR today, it was a pity for us."

Julen Lopetegui described Wolves' disallowed goal in their FA Cup clash with Liverpool as "impossible" after they played out a 2-2 third-round draw at Anfield.

Goals for Goncalo Guedes and Hwang Hee-chan came either side of finishes for Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah in a chaotic encounter on Merseyside.

But the visitors saw a late winner struck off for Tote Gomes, after a linesman's call deemed the corner taker to be offside in the build-up.

VAR was unable to get a suitable angle to overturn the decision and therefore let it stand, in a call that infuriated Lopetegui, who made his frustration clear afterwards.

"We have seen it, and the offside doesn't exist," he told ITV. "It's impossible, but someone has told him that it is offside. We have seen the image, and it doesn't exist.

"The decision is wrong. I make mistakes every day, and sometimes they do too. Today we have the help of VAR, and it is a pity, because I'm sorry, it's not offside."

Lopetegui was complimentary towards referee Andy Madley, telling BBC's Match of the Day he was "very polite" when he and captain Bruno Neves took the decision up after the final whistle.

"That is a good thing for me, that is not usual in Spain," he added "I love talking, only to show him the offside doesn't exist. It is very clear."

The call to cancel out the goal rankled harder for Lopetegui after Salah was effectively played onside for his own strike by a botched clearance attempt by Tote Gomes earlier on.

Lopetegui sought to draw a line under it however, adding to ITV: "It has happened now. We have to accept it. It is a pity because deserved to win against a fantastic team like Liverpool."

Matheus Cunha will join Wolves from Atletico Madrid when the January transfer window opens, Julen Lopetegui has confirmed.

A deal between Wolves and Atletico for an initial loan with an obligation to buy had been reported, with Cunha undergoing a medical this week.

And Wolves coach Lopetegui announced the forward's signing on Friday ahead of his side's return to Premier League action against Everton.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone had already confirmed Cunha was set to leave the LaLiga giants.

"Today I have to talk about [Cunha]," said Lopetegui. "It's clear he is going to be with us. It is going to happen once the market is open.

"Now, of course, he's going to be our player, but [for] the next matches, we have to focus on the players that are here. They have to play against the rest of the teams.

"He's a good player. I know him, and I think he's a good signing for us for the present and also for the future.

"He is a very complete forward. He has a good condition, good skills, not only technically but physically. This is England, and in the Premier League you have to be a very complete forward if you want to survive.

"I think he has this profile to play here for a lot of years. Of course, we are going to help him to develop his strengths in the future."

Cunha won Olympic gold with Brazil at Tokyo 2020, but he was not part of the Selecao squad for the World Cup after starting just 10 LaLiga games for Atletico after signing from Hertha Berlin in August 2021.

Wolves hope Cunha, who will reportedly cost £34million (€40m) at the end of the season, can help lift them off the foot of the Premier League table.

New Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui is "worried" after Raul Jimenez was named in Mexico's World Cup squad despite not playing since August.

Former Sevilla and Real Madrid coach Lopetegui officially took charge at Wolves on Monday but will have to wait until after the World Cup break for his first game.

Jimenez has only made three Premier League appearances this season, totalling 211 minutes, after battling with a groin injury but was still included in Mexico's 26-man list to travel to Qatar.

With Wolves four points adrift of safety at the bottom of the top-flight table, Lopetegui says his primary concern is having his key forward to call upon after the break.

"The most important thing is not the World Cup, it's Wolves," Lopetegui said during his first press conference in England.

"I have spoken with Raul, I am worried about him because he doesn't play a minute with his team, Wolves.

"We need all of them but we need Raul fit and the best version. I hope he will come back here in this way. I respect the decision of the player and the coach but above all for me it's Wolves."

Mexico and Wolves have already endured a fractured relationship, with Gerardo Martino's team apologising after naming an unfit Jimenez on their bench for Wednesday's 4-0 friendly victory over Iraq.

The 31-year-old was in attendance at Molineux for the 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal on Saturday before being announced in a Mexico squad that includes Napoli's Hirving Lozano and Ajax defender Edson Alvarez.

But there was no room for former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who scored 18 goals in 34 MLS appearances for Los Angeles Galaxy in 2022.

Gerardo Martino's men start their World Cup campaign against Poland on November 22 before facing Argentina and Saudi Arabia in Group C.

Mexico squad in full:

Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), Alfredo Talavera (Juarez), Rodolfo Cota (Leon); Jorge Sanchez (Ajax), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Nestor Araujo (Club America), Johan Vasquez (Cremonese), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey); Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Charly Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Erick Gutierrez (PSV), Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Luis Romo (Monterrey); Alexis Vega (Guadalajara), Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Roberto Alvarado (Guadalajara), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Henry Martin (Club America), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey).

Wolves have confirmed the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach, bringing an end to their search for Bruno Lage's replacement.

Lage was axed at the start of October following Wolves' defeat to West Ham, but they have picked up just four points from five matches since then and sit second-bottom of the Premier League heading into the weekend's fixtures.

Lopetegui was dismissed by Sevilla last month after spending over three years with the Andalusian side, who he guided to Europa League success in 2020, and was long-reported as a priority target for Wolves.

While it was reported the former Real Madrid and Spain coach initially rejected Wolves' advances, on Saturday it was announced he had taken up their offer.

Lopetegui will not take charge at Wolves until Monday, November 14, though, meaning he will have to wait until after the World Cup for his first game in charge, which will come against Everton on Boxing Day.

In a statement, Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said: "Julen is a top coach, with excellent experience at an elite level of the game, and we are very pleased to have agreed a deal to bring him to Wolves.

"Since the very beginning, Julen has been our number one choice to manage Wolves, and we look forward to welcoming him and his team when they join us in the coming weeks."

Wolves host Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday before taking on Leeds United in the EFL Cup in midweek, with a home match against Arsenal rounding off their league fixtures before the World Cup.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is known to be desperate for Lionel Messi to finish his career at his long-time club.

The 35-year-old Argentine forward departed Camp Nou hastily in August last year due to Barcelona's financial issues.

Messi joined the Blaugrana in 2000 and had an association with the club for more than two decades, scoring 672 goals across 778 first-team appearances.


TOP STORY – LAPORTA PLOTTING JANUARY MOVE FOR MESSI

Laporta is planning a move for Barcelona club legend Lionel Messi in the January transfer window, according to Sport.

The report states that Barcelona want to take advantage of the Fair Play situation in January, rather than wait for the off-season where the 1/4 rule will make any move more difficult.

However, Laporta's plan is full of obstacles for the Blaugrana to overcome, not least LaLiga's financial restraints, along with convincing Messi and his current club Paris Saint-Germain to part midway through the season.

Messi has publicly said he has deferred any decisions on his club or international future until after the World Cup.


ROUND-UP

– Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim may have distanced the club from links with Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in midweek but The Mirror reports that the Portuguese club will make a bid for him in January.

– Brighton and Hove Albion are open to selling Moises Caicedo amid interest from Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United but have slapped a £85m price tag on the 20-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder, reports the Sunday Mirror.

– The Express claims that Arsenal are leading the race ahead of Manchester United to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans. The Belgian could move to the Gunners for free, as he is out of contract at the end of the season and unlikely to pen a new deal.

– Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante - whose contract is also up at the end of June 2023 - is a major target for Barcelona who are looking at replacements for veteran Sergio Busquets, reports Relevo.

– Sport claims Barcelona are looking to offload Memphis Depay in January, with Juventus interested in signing the Dutch attacker.

Wolves are set to approach ex-Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui again, having failed to convince him previously to become their new manager, claims The Sun.

Jorge Sampaoli has been appointed as Sevilla coach for the second time, with the former Argentina boss succeeding Julen Lopetegui.

The 62-year-old, who was in charge of Marseille last season, was originally handed the top job at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in June 2016, succeeding Unai Emery.

During his lone year at the club, he took them to a fourth-place finish in LaLiga, and the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Now, he returns following Lopetegui's exit amid a dismal start to the 2022-23 season for Sevilla, with the club 17th in LaLiga and similarly adrift in Europe following a 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Sampaoli's immediate remit will be ensuring a swift turnaround in fortunes for the club, starting with this weekend's clash with Athletic Club. He has signed a deal running until the end of June 2024.

A return trip to Dortmund will present an opportunity for Sevilla to potentially turn around their flagging fortunes in the Champions League.

Julen Lopetegui bid a fond farewell to Sevilla after his sacking and said he departed having earned "respect" for his achievements at the club.

The former Spain boss was dismissed by the LaLiga outfit after their 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, with the decision having been widely expected ahead of the game.

Since he arrived at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Lopetegui had rebuilt his reputation, following an abrupt dismissal from the Spain national team job ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup and a poor subsequent stint at Real Madrid.

He guided the club to the 2019-20 Europa League title, but poor form this term has seen him pay the price. Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli is widely expected to step in as his successor.

Speaking after his departure, the 56-year-old Lopetegui was philosophical about his three-year tenure.

"One does not choose what happens in life," he said. "There is a saying that one has to learn to dance in the rain, not wait for it to end. I think that's how it is. Things happen and one has to adapt. I think I do my best.

"The feeling that comes to my mind is to wish the best of luck to Sevilla, the club, the players and their wonderful fans. I was lucky [to be here].

"I believe respect is not given away; respect is earned with attitude, with work, and sometimes with or without success. This is life.

"In the end, I think people know how to see the dedication, the responsibility and the success we have had. That respect, we take with us, my staff and I. We take it with us forever."

Lopetegui explained his appreciation for the club's exacting demands on players and coaches, from supporters to the boardroom.

"In the end, life and football, as I told the players, have many similarities, and many times what one takes away from the places where they have been is the love and recognition of what you have done," Lopetegui said.

"I think that is something that personally fills me with pride and makes me happy within the sad situation that I have.

"Obviously, the Sevilla fans are very demanding fans, as we have always said, and I think they are also one of the great assets of this club, because that demand means that everyone is always on their toes from the beginning.

"That means that everyone is hierarchically like this, it means that in the end we have all given the best of ourselves to achieve these historic years."

Sevilla have fired head coach Julen Lopetegui, with a comprehensive 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League proving to be his final game in charge.

Lopetegui led Sevilla to just one win in their first seven games of the season in LaLiga, and widespread reports had suggested he would be relieved of his duties after Wednesday's match.

The former Spain and Real Madrid coach's final game with Sevilla proved to be an unhappy one, as goals from Raphael Guerreiro, Jude Bellingham, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt saw Dortmund dominate.

Speaking to Movistar after the defeat, Lopetegui revealed: "Right now I'm still coach of Sevilla but... I've already said goodbye to the team.

"I don't get a negative feeling right now. The first thing I feel is gratitude to a club like Sevilla, the fans, the people of the city and my players, who have given me three wonderful seasons. 

"I arrived with doubts and it was possible to turn it around with many successful seasons."

A statement released by Sevilla less than 30 minutes after full-time then formally confirmed his departure, saying.

"Sevilla have dismissed Julen Lopetegui as coach of the first team after the clash [with] Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday," the statement read.

"Lopetegui closes a successful stage with three magnificent campaigns in which the objectives were more than achieved, and a fourth season in which the results have not been on track, with Sevilla [taking] five points out of a possible 21 in LaLiga."

Jorge Sampaoli – who coached Sevilla in the 2016-17 season – is reportedly being targeted to replace him, while Lopetegui has been linked with the vacant position at Wolves.

Dortmund's rampant performance owed much to the display of Bellingham, who became the first English teenager to start a Champions League match as captain.

Bellingham marked the occasion with a fine solo goal, becoming just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

The only other player to achieve that feat is Bellingham's former BVB team-mate Erling Haaland, who did so with Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

Julen Lopetegui pledged to stay professional until the last at Sevilla amid suggestions he will lose his job before the weekend.

The former Porto, Spain and Real Madrid head coach is reportedly set to be replaced by Jorge Sampaoli after Wednesday's Champions League home game against Borussia Dortmund.

Sampaoli led Sevilla in the 2016-17 season before leaving to take charge of the Argentina national team.

He spent last season in France with Marseille, and Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported he will sign a two-year contract with Sevilla.

Lopetegui is apparently poised to pay the price for his team's slow start to the season, which has seen them collect just five points from seven games, putting them already 10 points adrift of fourth place, which is currently held down by Real Betis.

A 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid on Saturday looks to have been the final straw, with the transfer window departures of star defenders Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde having severely weakened the Andalusians.

Finishing fourth last season gave Sevilla a place in the Champions League, and Lopetegui is determined to make a dignified exit, if the Dortmund game does prove to be his last at the helm.

He said on Tuesday: "Look, in order to respect my own responsibility, I will not express any opinion about what has happened in the last few months.

"I prefer to keep it for myself as a part of the responsibility I have as a coach of a big club like Sevilla. So tomorrow I will approach the game with my highest energy. This is what I did for my previous 169 games [at Sevilla] and I will do it for the 170th.

"You cannot reach 170 games just by chance at such a demanding team as Sevilla. Obviously you must win a lot in order to stay for 170 games, and we did it. So I will not change either my speech or my attitude as a part of my responsibility."

Lopetegui added: "I will keep loyal to what I have done here previously, because I think I must rise to the challenge at such a demanding club and of course, to not disappoint our fans, as they only deserve the best from every single person working at this club.

"From my end, I will give my best given the responsibility I have, as I have been doing throughout my 169 games here and tomorrow I will do it again without any doubt."

Sevilla have failed to score in their last three Champions League games, with their last goal in the competition coming in November 2021 against Wolfsburg.

This season they have lost 4-0 to Manchester City and drawn 0-0 with FC Copenhagen. Sevilla have never previously failed to score in four consecutive games in European competition.

Manchester United have already conceded 14 goals in seven Premier League games this season.

United boss Erik ten Hag is weighing up his goalkeeping options, having stuck with long-term number one David de Gea since taking over.

Reports have emerged that United and De Gea are set for talks on his future, with the 31-year-old's deal to expire in 2023.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD EYE COSTA AS DE GEA REPLACEMENT

Manchester United's goalkeeper situation is in flux, with the club interested in Porto custodian Diogo Costa, according to Metro.

United have sent scouts to watch the 23-year-old goalkeeper, who has seven caps for Portugal.

The Red Devils are looking for De Gea's successor, with the Spaniard seemingly not suiting Ten Hag's possession-based style.

United also have 25-year-old England international Dean Henderson out on loan at Nottingham Forest.

ROUND-UP

– O Jogo claims former Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins could be the latest Portuguese coach to take over at Wolves, following Bruno Lage's dismissal on Sunday. The Telegraph reports that under-fire Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui may be considered and Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has also been discussed.

Juventus and Real Madrid will rival Liverpool in the race to sign Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans from Leicester City, claims Calciomercato.

– LaLiga pair Sevilla and Valencia are both interested in Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, reports Todofichajes.

Tottenham and Juventus target Nicolo Zaniolo is set to pen a new deal with Roma, re-committing on a €4million per-year deal until 2027, according to Calciomercato.

– Everton's Venezuela international striker Salomon Rondon has interest from UAE club Sharjah FC but is likely to stay with the Toffees, reports Liverpool Echo.

Erling Haaland has enjoyed a remarkably prolific start to life in England with Manchester City.

Ahead of Sunday's derby with Manchester United, Haaland has netted 14 goals in 10 appearances in all competitions for City since his off-season move.

The Norwegian joined City from Borussia Dortmund in June on a five-year contract, following interest from several top clubs.

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDERING IMPROVED HAALAND DEAL

It is only a few months into Erling Haaland's first Manchester City contract, but the English champions are ready to offer him a new and improved deal, reports the Daily Star.

City have gone early on revised contracts in the past to shore up key players before they become transfer targets for rivals and they will do the same with their star striker if he can keep up his goalscoring prowess.

Haaland is already one of City's top earners alongside Kevin De Bruyne, pocketing around £375,000 per week.

City may opt to bump that up with an improved extension in May, with reports that Real Madrid are planning to chase him in 2024, when they can trigger his termination clause.

ROUND-UP

– PSV's hot property winger Cody Gakpo is attracting interest from Milan, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old Dutchman was pursued by Manchester United and Leeds United during the last transfer window, and has also been linked with Southampton and Everton.

– The Sun reports that French Ligue 1 outfit Nice are in the lead in the race to sign Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. The Ukrainian club are demanding £50million (€56.86m) for him.

Arsenal are in the race for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, claims the Express, and are hoping to win him over amid rival interest from Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United.

West Ham United are the latest club to be interested in Club Brugge winger Noa Lang, reports Calciomercato. Milan are also credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.

Arsenal are weighing up a move for Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadorian defender Piero Hincapie, according to Teamtalk.

– Marca claims Sevilla could bring back former boss Jorge Sampaoli, who led the club from 2016 to 2017, if they dispense with current head coach Julen Lopetegui after their poor start to the campaign.

Marcos Llorente and Alvaro Morata scored as Atletico Madrid earned a 2-0 win at Sevilla on Saturday, ratcheting up pressure on home boss Julen Lopetegui. 

Koke claimed an assist for the opening goal, on the day he made a record-breaking 554th Atletico appearance, with Llorente taking the plaudits after placing a neat finish into the bottom-left corner.

Sevilla have won just one league game so far this season, and their lack of confidence was clear as Diego Simeone's men extended their lead through Morata's finish from a one-on-one chance after 57 minutes.

The result lifts Atleti into fifth in LaLiga's early-season standings, while Lopetegui appears to be on borrowed time at Sevilla after overseeing another meek reverse.

Atleti made a bright start as Llorente headed wide following a good run from Saul Niguez, before Morata blasted over the crossbar when presented with a decent opening 19 minutes in.

But Llorente was not to be denied after 29 minutes, collecting a fine pass from Koke before shifting the ball to his right foot and drilling beyond Yassine Bounou.

Llorente then sent a fierce effort into the side netting as Sevilla were pinned back, and Kasper Dolberg's tame header was the sum of the hosts' efforts before they were booed off at the break.

The half-time introductions of Ivan Rakitic and Jesus Navas saw Sevilla enjoy more possession, but they went 2-0 down when Matheus Cunha took advantage of Jose Angel Carmona's error before teeing up Morata for a delicate chipped finish.

Cunha then forced Bounou into action with a low effort as the home crowd again made their displeasure heard, before Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann both missed from point-blank range as Atleti failed to extend their lead.

What does it mean? Atleti come good against under-fire Sevilla

Atletico came into this contest having lost two of their first six league games this season – their joint-highest tally at that stage of a full campaign under Simeone (W4 D0 L2 in 2015-16).

Los Colchoneros, however, produced an accomplished display to see off their beleaguered hosts, who sit 16th in LaLiga's early standings after a dire start, having finished fourth last term.

Llorente ends long wait

Llorente's well-taken goal saw him bring an end to the longest goal drought of his Atletico career. The midfielder had gone 51 games without a goal ahead of this contest, last finding the net in any competition in May 2021.

He made light of that wait, however, with a sumptuous finish which left Bounou with no chance and set the visitors up for a routine win.

Koke marks landmark outing with assist

Koke overtook fellow Atletico great Adelardo Rodriguez to become the club's record appearance-maker, and he marked the occasion in style by teeing up Llorente's goal.

The 30-year-old, who came through the youth ranks and has won eight major trophies in his distinguished spell with the club, has now recorded two assists this season, and four in his 23 appearances against Sevilla in LaLiga.

What's next?

Both teams are in Champions League action in midweek. Sevilla host Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, while Atleti go to Club Brugge on Tuesday.

Isco is determined to prove he is still capable of performing at an elite level after ending his spell in the Real Madrid wilderness by joining Sevilla.

The midfielder, a five-time Champions League winner who made 353 appearances during a nine-year spell with Los Blancos, fell out of favour following Carlo Ancelotti's return to the Santiago Bernabeu last year.

He left the Spanish capital following the expiration of his contract in June, having made just three starts during Madrid's double-winning 2021-22 campaign, playing just 406 minutes in all competitions.

Sevilla swooped to sign the 30-year-old on a free transfer on Monday, and Isco hopes the move will revitalise his career.

"I want to show the level that I have and that I have never lost. It's normal for there to be doubts, but I'll take care of dispelling them," he told the club's media channels after signing a two-year deal.

"It has been a difficult summer, different. I've had too many vacations, I've taken advantage of them to get in shape and now I can't wait to play again, which I haven't done for a while.

"I'm not complaining, I've been lucky because I've played for big clubs and I've won almost everything, but I don't like to think too much about the past but about what's to come."

Isco's arrival in Seville will see him reunited with a familiar face in Julen Lopetegui, who coached him at Madrid in 2018 and during a spell as Spain boss between 2016 and 2018. 

And the playmaker is excited to work with him at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, adding: "He has always trusted me and I like his football, what he proposes. It is a football that is more suitable for my style.

"I thank him for his confidence, which for a footballer is paramount. The confidence he has given me, it has always been the maximum. Now it's up to me to restore his confidence on the pitch and show him that he's not wrong."

Isco could make his Sevilla debut when they begin their LaLiga campaign at Osasuna on Friday. 

Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui was full of praise for Antonio Conte and his ability to seamlessly implement his style upon teams, following his side's 1-1 draw against Tottenham on Saturday.

Lopetegui won the only competitive match between the two coaches - Sevilla's 3-2 triumph over Inter in the 2020 Europa League final - but they had to share the result this time, with Ivan Rakitic equalising after Harry Kane's opener in Suwon.

Sevilla had the majority of possession over the opening 45 minutes but their best chance came in transition, with Rafa Mir botching a one-on-one opportunity with Hugo Lloris.

To reinforce their lack of penetration with the ball, Kane scored after Rodrigo Bentancur won the ball high up the pitch in 50th minute, before substitute Rakitic rifled home from the top of the penalty area 14 minutes later.

For his side's first game of the pre-season though, Lopetegui was ultimately content his side could restrict Spurs while revealing his admiration for Conte, believing he can transmit his identity onto every team he coaches.

"They tend to take the initiative and at this moment we have minimised a great team," he said  post-match. "They've had their moments, but we've had a good first game. I am a great admirer of Conte, he has his own stamp that he transfers to all his teams and he has all my admiration and respect.

"They are one of the best teams in England and in the world and at times we surpassed them. We have finished with six footballers from the bench and have played a good game.

"I don't value the result but we have tried to put what we are training on the field into action and the boys have done a good job. We have done a good week of work optimising defensive and offensive aspects."

After achieving their LaLiga points record in 2020-21, Sevilla plateaued last season, finishing 16 points off eventual title winners Real Madrid along with last-16 exits in the Copa del Rey and Europa League.

Lopetegui's side did secure Champions League football for the second consecutive year, finishing fourth in LaLiga ahead of archrivals Real Betis.

Coming off the bench, Rakitic echoed his coach's sentiments, but added that his goal would allow him to approach training with less pressure.

"There was a desire to compete, play, also against a spectacular team. I think we did a great job. To begin with, the truth is that we are very happy," he told Sevilla FC TV post-match.

"The truth is very happy, I think it is important for us to start adding good minutes. It was an intense game, with a lot of rhythm. For the days to come, with a goal like this you work even more comfortably."

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