Europa League Final Review
It was a night to reckon with for the Kings of the UEFA Europa League – Sevilla. By winning their seventh trophy and beating Mourinho’s Roma in penalties, the team from Seville has established itself as the undisputed champions in the history of the competition. The Rojiblancos kept their Europa League final record alive, as they made it seven trophies in seven appearances with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over the Giallorossi in Puskas Arena, Budapest on Wednesday.
This marks the fifth Europa League titles in 10 seasons for Sevilla. Sevilla Futbol Club are like no other team in terms of the Europa League. They made their way to the final fighting against clubs that had four times their budget, evicting Manchester United in the quarter-finals with aggregate of (5-2) and knocking-out Juventus with aggregate of 3-2 in the semi-finals. The 2022/23 season remains the worst season yet for Sevilla in 20 years, one in which they have had three managers and risked relegation.
Jose Luis Mendilibar took on the reins of managing the team in March, by then, Sevilla were two points off the relegation zone, after losing three of their last four matches and were ready to fall apart. Mendilibar was their last glimmer of hope, a man who had taken charge of more than 400 first-division games over a career that span as far back as 27 years but not at clubs such as this.
Both teams were equally matched and couldn’t be separated for 120 minutes of play, with the score line stuck at 1-1. Sevilla’s Moroccan shot-stopper, Bono, stood out in the penalties, he managed to save two important penalties consecutively from Mancini and Ibanez respectively, which helped Sevilla lift the Europa League trophy at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary.
A Tensed Game
The match was not without intensity. Both teams are known for their defensive styles, dirty play , and seldomly scoring a goal.
But from the start, both teams didn’t sit back but attacked vehemently with intent, creating chances to seize an early advantage in the game and this pulled through for Dybala at the 34th minute of the game. Sevilla fought back with intense build ups and attacks for the remaining part of the first half but to no avail. The second half started with Sevilla not losing its flare and intensity, and because of that at exactly 55th minute, they were recompensed with an equalizing own-goal from Mancini. Both teams were now back to square one, and remained so until the end of the match.
FOULS AND BOOKINGS
There were 13 bookings throughout the 120-minute span game, with 6 bookings levied on Sevilla and 7 booked on Roma.