West Ham produced a battling display in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Sevilla but were beaten 1-0 courtesy of Munir El Haddadi's well-taken goal at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
This was a cagey affair high on quality and, following a goalless first half, it was Munir who met Marcos Acuna's set-piece to drill home the only goal of the night at the far post (60).
David Moyes will have been disappointed at the manner of the goal, but his side are still very much in this tie with away goals not counting in this season's competition.
The Hammers had their chances with Nikola Vlasic going close on two occasions in the first half before Jesus Navas produced a fine last-ditch challenge to frustrate Manuel Lanzini.
Munir had already missed two opportunities before he broke the deadlock, while Lucas Ocampos was off target as Sevilla were made to settle for a narrow advantage ahead of next Thursday's sold-out second leg at the London Stadium.
Hammers Fail To Make Chances Count
"We had some opportunities and we did a lot of good things but Sevilla are a tough team," said Moyes. "We did enough to get a draw, but they also had their chances. The Vlasic chance was huge.
"It has been a regular occurrence in the last few games. We have to try turn those chances into goals. We need to take them. That's disappointing. We need to be quicker and more aggressive to get us over the line.
"But for us to come here and be competitive and give us a good chance in the second leg, that's what we have done. I hope we have the noise at our home like we heard tonight. The home fans dragged their team through it and got them over the line."
Jarrod Bowen was out of sight, but he was far from out of mind. It was always likely to be the case after the heel injury sustained five days ago at Anfield ruled him out of the trip to Andalusia.
His replacement Vlasic did his best to ensure the club's uncontested player of the season was not readily forgotten but West Ham's reconstituted attack could only watch on as Sevilla stole a march in the tie.
"We're disappointed," Declan Rice told BT Sport. "We had the two best chances of the game. We created plenty of chances but we knew it was going to be a tough game so there are plenty of positives to take. In these big games, we have to take them if we want to progress into the next round."
During his time as coach of Real Sociedad, Moyes faced Sevilla once: a 4-3 home La Liga victory in February 2015, but he was faced with the daunting task of preventing Sevilla from scoring in a 20th straight home game in all competitions.
The hosts were dealt a blow prior to kick-off when Ivan Rakitic pulled up injured during the warm-up, but his replacement Munir had Sevilla's best chances of the opening period.
The Morocco forward raced onto Jesús Corona's cross to take the ball off his own team-mate Ocampos only to head wide of Alphonse Areola's left post.
His second opportunity came after 27 minutes when Acuna spotted another deep run in between Aaron Cresswell and Kurt Zouma but his low drive again failed to test the West Ham goalkeeper.
This was West Ham's first Europa League knockout tie and their biggest European game in over 40 years against the side second in La Liga and six-time winners of this competition - and they carved out chances of their own.
Their best came in the 12th minute when Lanzini's free-kick was flicked back across goal by Rice only for Vlasic's tame diving header to be kept out by Yassine Bounou before Michail Antonio made a mess of the rebound.
There was supposed to be a maximum of 3,000 West Ham fans at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium - a venue they and the many thousands who made the trip without a ticket will hope to return to for the final in May.
Vlasic latched onto intelligent hold-up play from Antonio to direct a low shot that needed to be tipped around the post by Bounou but the first half ended goalless.
Julen Lopetegui's men have not lost at home in their league campaign, losing to Lille in the Champions League in early November, but they were without Diego Carlos - and they nearly fell behind within two minutes of the restart as Antonio laid back Ben Johnson's cross into the path of Tomas Soucek but his well-struck shot from range was parried away by Bono.
Sevilla retain faint hopes of a first Spanish league title since 1946 having conceded just 18 goals in 27 La Liga games - the meanest record in the Spanish top flight - and they head to London next week with the slender advantage courtesy of Munir's finish from Acuna's free-kick.
West Ham had opted to use a zonal marking system at the set-piece as Rice and Craig Dawson were caught ball watching, allowing Munir the space to watch the cross and find the far corner.
Former West Ham striker Dean Ashton told Sky Sports: "It was a really clever set-play for the goal, it out-foxed West Ham. It was fantastic technique from Munir, he caught it perfectly."
West Ham needed to keep their composure and were relieved to see a Corona volley deflected wide.
Nevertheless, the visitors still had a puncher's chance and substitute Said Benrahma almost set up an equaliser for Lanzini, who was only denied by a last-ditch block from former Manchester City full-back Navas to preserve Sevilla's narrow lead in a tie which West Ham will feel they are still very much in.
Moyes: Poor Finishing Is Costing Us
West Ham's first European knockout tie in over 40 years ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat by serial Europa League winners Sevilla - but Moyes will have seen enough to feel his side are capable of overturning a one-goal deficit at the London Stadium.
The Hammers boss will be confident of prolonging his side's European adventure after chances were created but spurned in Seville in the absence of Bowen.
Moyes added: "The players will be in good spirits and ready to go. Quite often in football, the goals come back around, so I am hoping I get them in the next three games before the international break.
"We need to be sharper, we need to be quicker to the ball in the box. We need to be more aggressive, all those things to get us over the line.
"Our finishing at the moment has not been the best and so we have to try and improve on it as it's cost us the past couple of games. We did a lot of good things tonight we just did not take the opportunities we got."
Moyes has no choice but to ask the same set of players to play again at the weekend in the Premier League against Aston Villa, but he will be encouraged by Sevilla's record of having failed to win away in Europe this season.
Antonio said: "We always believed that the result was never going to spiral [after Sevilla scored]. We always believed we could score ourselves. We didn't manage to do it today but we believe we can win at home.
"Sevilla are a different calibre to what we've faced so far in this competition, but we're up to their standard. We can take it."
Corona created six chances against West Ham, the most by a Sevilla player in a UEFA Europa League game since Rakitic (9) in April 2014, against Valencia.
Analysis: West Ham Can End Sevilla Stranglehold
It says a lot about how far West Ham have have come in a short space of time that it was four years ago to the day since they were beaten 3-0 at home by Burnley in a game marred by pitch invasions and protests against the owners.
Now the Hammers are rubbing shoulders with the continent's elite and stepping out for the club's biggest night on the European stage since 1981. Here, Ben Johnson was excellent, while Benrahma showed no fear when coming off the bench.
This was probably the toughest draw they could have landed in the round of 16, given Sevilla are the most successful team in the tournament's history as six-time winners - regularly knocking out English clubs along the way - as well as being Real Madrid's closest challengers for the La Liga title.
Lopetegui's side have lost just twice in the league all season but they have a host of injury absentees and suffered another blow when the dangerous former Barcelona midfielder Rakitic was ruled out on his 34th birthday.
Sevilla have scored just once in four away games in Europe this term. If Bowen can be passed fit for the return leg, West Ham have a chance of reaching the last eight, but they must be more clinical than they were out in Spain.
Hammers' European Away Run Ended - Opta Stats
Sevilla have won six of their last seven knock-out games in the UEFA Europa League (L1) while they've progressed from all of their previous nine knock-out ties in the competition when winning the first leg.
West Ham lost their first away match in a major European competition since September 2006 (3-0 against Palermo in the UEFA Cup), having been unbeaten in the Europa League so far this season on the road (W2 D1).
West Ham have gone 10 consecutive away games in all competitions without a clean sheet, this after keeping five in their previous 10 such games.
Sevilla's Munir El-Haddadi score his eighth UEFA Europa League goal (14th appearance) and his first in seven games in the competition since netting a hat-trick against F91 Dudelange in November 2019 - only Kevin Gameiro (17) and Carlos Bacca (11) have scored more for the Spanish side in the competition.