A perfect 7/7 for Sevilla FC in the Europa League

Sevilla clinch yet another Europa League title

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.

Disappointed Mourinho throws off runners-up medal to the fans. Image: talkSPORT

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.

Navas celebrating his 7th Europa League title having won his first in 2006. Source: 433

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.

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Manchester United get knocked out by their Spanish kryptonite, Sevilla

Manchester United get knocked out

Manchester United get knocked out
Manchester United get knocked out by Sevilla

The kryptonite

It was a “hello darkness my old friend “moment yesternight for Manchester United as they got knocked out of the Europa League by Sevilla. In 2018, Sevilla knocked out Manchester United from the UEFA Champions League. A 78th minute winner from Wissam Ben Yedder did it for Sevilla. History repeated itself yesterday in the Europa League following a 2-1 victory  for the Spaniards .

Sevilla has proved a hard nut to crack for Manchester United. For instance, in a 2013 friendly match at Old Trafford, they lost 1-3 to the Spanish side. Sevilla have a 75% win rate vs Manchester United. 3 out of their 4 games against Manchester United. Los Palanganas are now headed to the finals of the Europa League to contest for their 6th title. The Spanish side is the most decorated club in the Europa League having won this trophy three times consecutively from 2014 to 2016, under Unai Emery.

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The knockout

The game started off with an early penalty to United. Bruno Fernandes scored the penalty, his 8th goal in the competition. The Red devils have now been awarded 22 penalties in all competitions. The most that any team from Europe’s top five leagues has had in a single campaign since Barcelona in 2015-16(24). However, this penalty was not enough for the night since Sevilla equalised at the 26th minute, a Suso goal assisted by Sergio Reguilon.

Luke De jong later scored at the 78th minute, assisted by Jesus Navas, to wrap it up for the day. This goal was clearly a mistake by Victor Lindelof. It’s arguable that Lindelof should have marked Luke De Jong. After the full time whistle was blown, Lindelof seemed to be in an angry exchange of words with Bruno Fernandes over the goal.

Semi-final limit

For the first time in 31 years, Manchester United have gone three consecutive years without a trophy: trophyless. They are the first ever English top flight team to fall at the semi-final stage of three different competitions within the same campaign. Ole’s boys got knocked out of the EFL Carabao League cup by Manchester City, got knocked out of the Emirates FA cup by Chelsea and now Sevilla all at the Semi-final stage.

The silver lining

Hoping this isn’t a curse, Manchester United will bounce back .They had a good run in this campaign but nothing to show for it except for the 3rd position EPL and a qualification for the UEFA Champions League. The club will focus on signing new players and training in preparation for the next season, 12th September.

Photo Credit: Getty images