Neither Mourinho, unbeaten in European finals, nor Paulo Dybala, author of the Roman goalthey were able to put an end to Sevilla’s idyll in the Europa League, a title that the Seville club won for the 7th time in its history (a record) by winning Roma 4-1 on penalties (1-1 at the end of regulated time). .
At the Puskas Arena in Budapest, the Argentinian Dybala, who started this Wednesday despite Mourinho’s assurance on the eve that he was only there to play “20 or 30 minutes”, put the Italians ahead in the first half (34), but defender Gianluca Mancini scored against (55) the equalizer and completed his misguided performance by missing one of the penalties in the decisive shootout that gave Sevilla the title. The other error from eleven meters was made by the Brazilian Roger Ibáñez.
Before the match, the Sevilla fans displayed a huge banner with the image of a Roman emperor with his thumbs down and the message ‘Imperium nostrum’ (‘Our Empire’), making it clear to the Italians who is in charge in a tournament with which he has had an idyll for two decades that does not seem to end.
“Nobody wants it (the cup) like we do,” Sevilla fans usually argue to try to explain their seven titles since 2006 and an image of invincibility in this competition, whatever happens.
– “Imperium nostrum” –
And the cup wanted to correspond to Sevilla for that desire to win it, even in a season like this, in which until the arrival of José Luis Mendilibar on the bench at the end of March, the team struggled to stay in the First Division.
Not even José Mourinho, until now invincible in continental finals, could avoid the triumph of a Sevilla that every time it reaches a final is to lift the trophy.
Old soccer fox, Mourinho wanted to surprise Mendilibar with the line-up, making the limping Dybala and with an experienced team and full of internationals despite highlighting on Tuesday that he played with many “kids who were in B last year.”
The Portuguese’s plan seemed to have its effect at the start of the matchsince Sevilla did not wake up until Dybala opened the scoring with a cross shot (34).
Sevilla reacted to the Roman goal and came close to achieving an equalizer before the break, with a couple of headers from En-Nesyri (38) and Fernando (43) and, above all, a long shot from Rakitic that spat out the post (45+6).
That had to be the way forward for Sevilla in the second part if he wanted to have any chance of raising the cup.
– Third title on penalties –
Mendilibar also tried to change the dynamics of the first half with the entry on the field of Suso and Erik Lamela (the authors of the comeback against Juventus in the semifinals), for Óliver Torres and Bryan Gil, who disappeared at many times in the first period.
And the changes took effect immediately. Sevilla became the absolute owner of the ball and created danger over the Roman goal until Navas crossed from the right and Mancini, trying to avoid En-Nesyri’s shot, sent the ball into his own goal (55).
Roma ran out of gunpowder when Dybala he withdrew exhausted (67), although he had a couple of chances to get back in front (66 and 83).
Sevilla wanted to avoid extra time, first with a high header from En-Nesyri (90+2) and then with two shots from Suso and Fernando, the first saved by Rui Patricio and the second, in the rebound, which did not find a goal (90+6).
Extra time, in which it was hardly played and neither of the two teams riskeddid not resolve anything, so the champion decided on penalties in favor of Sevilla, as happened in 2007 (against Espanyol) and in 2014 (against Benfica).
After a very difficult season, in which in the first two thirds he had to fight at the bottom of the classification of LaLiga, Sevilla not only continues to gain prestige with another Europa League titlebut he gets a ticket to play the Champions League next year.