Sevilla paid a fitting tribute to former full-back Antonio Puerta by storming into the UEFA Champions League group phase with a 4-1 win over AEK Athens here on Monday night.
That completed a 6-1 aggregate victory for the Spaniards in a match that was delayed following the untimely death of the Spanish international full-back last week from multiple organ failure, following a cardiac arrest during a league match just days earlier.
Double reigning UEFA Cup champions Sevilla had the match and the tie sewn up by half-time after romping into a 3-0 lead. Two goals from Brazilian striker Fabiano, one from the penalty spot and a goal from Seydou Keita had the Andalusians slipping into cruise control.
In the second half, Sevilla moved further ahead in the 53rd minute through Alexander Kerzhakov before AEK managed a late consolation from veteran Brazilian star Rivaldo, who plied his trade in Spain for many years, first with Deportivo La Coruna and then Barcelona.
Sevilla will now face Arsenal, Slavia Prague and Steaua Bucharest in the group stages, while AEK will play in the UEFA Cup.