Spanish side Sevilla FC proved to be the perfectionists of the Europa League after winning their 7th title. With a tense clash on the cards against AS Roma, Sevilla came out the victors in the penalty shootouts. This is Sevilla’s 7th Europa League title in the last 18 seasons. Despite having a poor run in La Liga, they have come good in the Europa League, proving that they carry the aura of the competition. This impressive win has earned them a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League competition.
The clash of perfect European records
Coming to this crunchy clash, AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho had never lost a European final. Despite being rated underdogs, he guided FC Porto and Inter Milan to Champions League glories. He clinched Man United’s only Europa League trophies when the club was going through a rough patch. With his unique style of play, Jose always found a way of winning a European title in the finals.
On the other hand, Sevilla FC had already won 6 Europa League trophies in the 6 Europa League finals they had taken part in. They had been labeled the Europa League perfectionists for a reason. From 2013-2016, they won the Europa League in three consecutive seasons. This asserted their dominance as the finest Europa League club. They once beat Liverpool FC in a final, showing how well they compete.
This game was, therefore, a spectacle to behold between a club and a manager hosting perfect records in European competitions. It, however, turned out to be Sevilla’s day as they saw off Jose Mourinho, spoiling his excellent form.
The gameplay and the emotions
From the first minute, both clubs showed the zeal to prove a point. Sevilla wanted to prove that they were the kingpins of the Europa League. On the other hand, AS Roma showed the willpower to maintain Mourinho’s perfect European record. Having led them to last season’s conference league glory, they believed that they could add flavor to their trophy cabinet.
Paulo Dybala drew first blood by striking the opener for Roma. An excited Mourinho celebrated the goal with the famous ‘calma’ celebration. All seemed to be going their way until an unfortunate Mancini’s own goal forced the game to extra time. It eventually ended in penalty kicks where Yacine Bono, the Moroccan shots topper, became the match’s hero, saving crucial penalties. Emotional Sevilla FC fans had to storm the pitch full-time to celebrate this great achievement.
A pained Mourinho once again took the runners-up medal and threw it to the fans. He did the same after Manchester United lost the 2017 super cup finals to Real Madrid. His perfect European finals record has now come to an end. Credits still need to be given to the gaffer for the incredible job he has done at the club. Taking Roma to the finals with only a handful of world-class players is a job that deserves much appreciation.
The history makers
Jesus Navas was a member of the Sevilla team that won their first Europa League title in 2006. He left the club and played for Manchester City before returning home. At the age of 37 years, he won the 7th Europa League title for the club. This is a great achievement for the star man approaching retirement.
Jose Luis Mendilibar took over Sevilla as their third manager this season. With little hope of any success, he has managed the team well and saw off Manchester United on its way to glory. He has made history as the first manager to defeat Jose Mourinho in a European final. He has further written his name in the history books of Europa-winning managers from Seville.
Sevilla FC will enjoy champions league football next season as Jose Mourinho returns to the drawing board. Congratulations to Sevilla for a competition well performed.