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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sevilla beat Roma on penalties to win Europa League

Sevilla’s team captain Ivan Rakitic lifts the trophy after winning the Europa League final soccer match between Sevilla and Roma, at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Sevilla defeated Roma 4-1 in a penalty shootout after the match ended tied 1-1. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)(Petr David Josek / Associated Press)

Sevilla claimed a record-extending seventh Europa League title as they beat Roma on penalties at a raucous Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Gonzalo Montiel, who also scored the winning penalty for Argentina in the World Cup final against France, repeated the trick for the Spanish side following a 1-1 draw, with a retaken spot kick after Roger Ibanez and Gianluca Mancini had missed for Roma.

The Spanish side, have now won all seven of the finals they have played in the competition with captain Jesus Navas involved in their first triumph against Middlesbrough in 2006.

Their most recent sees them qualify for next season’s Champions League despite finishing outside the top four in the La Liga.

However, there will be a feeling that it could have been so different for Roma and their manager Jose Mourinho, who had won all five of the previous European finals he had been involved in and guided the club to inaugural Europa Conference League success last term.

Montiel’s international teammate Paulo Dybala had deservedly put Roma in front during the first period, racing onto to Italy defender Mancini’s incisive pass to expertly steer a low effort past Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou into the bottom right corner.

However, the Serie A side, who also saw Leonardo Spinazzola test Bounou before the break, relinquished their control of a testy encounter which saw 14 players and coaches, including Mourinho booked.

And Sevilla drew level 10 minutes after the break with Navas’ cross from the right, deflecting off the unfortunate Mancini into his own net, as they repeatedly pressed forward for an equaliser.

Roma arguably had the better opportunities to win the contest in normal time with Tammy Abraham and Ibanez unable to convert from close range and Andrea Belotti slicing wide from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s clever free-kick.

When Lucas Ocampos went down under a challenge from Ibanez, Sevilla appeared to have been handed a golden opportunity to go ahead but, after initially awarding a penalty, English referee Anthony Taylor overturned his decision following a video assistant referee review.

And that set up a tense additional 30 minutes with Chris Smalling heading against the Sevilla crossbar 11 minutes into stoppage time at the end of extra time before the dramatic finale.

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