Sevilla-Roma: Europa League Final – 7 times Sevilla

Sevilla Liga Europa Europe League

In a dramatic match held at the Puskas Arena to determine the great champion of the 2022/23 Europa League, Sevilla’s tradition in the competition prevailed over Mourinho’s unbeaten record in European finals. Let’s take a look at what happened in this thrilling match.


Last season, José Mourinho’s Roma achieved an unprecedented feat by becoming champions of the Conference League, a source of great pride for the Romanista fans.

This season, they reached the final of the Europa League, the second most important European competition. Along the way, Mourinho and his team overcame Real Sociedad, Feyenoord, and Bayer Leverkusen.

However, they couldn’t have faced a tougher opponent in the grand final. When it comes to the Europa League, Sevilla is undoubtedly the most formidable club in the competition. A true powerhouse that disregards any context or external situation to claim the championship title.

Sevilla’s season hadn’t been good. Far from it. They struggled against relegation for a large part of La Liga. The club, unable to find success with the season’s previous coaches, Lopetegui and Sampaoli, turned to José Luis Mendilibar, who had been inactive for almost a year before taking charge of the club following a stint at Alavés.

Mendilibar is the opposite of Mourinho when it comes to global recognition and title achievements. The only trophy won by the Spaniard was a second division title in La Liga, and his work was characterized as the potential savior from relegation.

And so he did with Sevilla. The club couldn’t score points in La Liga until his arrival. From then on, Mendilibar sorted things out and left Sevilla comfortably in 11th position in La Liga. However, this classification ruled them out of all European competitions.

Sevilla x Roma: saiba onde assistir à final da Liga Europa | O TEMPO

Image: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP

First half

The game started as expected when it comes to a final with José Mourinho. Roma was well organized on the field, making it difficult for Sevilla.

The game didn’t see many clear chances, except for a good move by Roma at the 10th minute, when Çelik received a pass from Dybala in the box, crossed it back, and Spinazzola took a shot, but it was saved by Bono.

That was until the 34th minute. Rakitic lost the ball to Cristante in midfield, and it fell to the defender Mancini, who was leading the play. He played a magnificent pass to Dybala, who carried the ball and shot it across the goal to put Roma in the lead.

There was an explosion of celebration from the players. Mourinho, on the other hand, seemed to know it was too early for such euphoria and called for calm.

Sevilla seemed lifeless, but they woke up just before the end of the first half. Navas played a pass to Rakitic at the edge of the box, who, with his typical quality, allowed the ball to pass just enough to align his body and unleash a powerful left-footed shot. The ball hit the post and narrowly missed hitting Rui Patrício’s back and going in.

It was the injection of enthusiasm that the Spaniards needed.

Second half

Sevilla came out all guns blazing against Roma. It was a blitz.

Despite the well-known defensive solidity of José Mourinho’s Roma, their system seemed like it would break soon.

In the 54th minute, Navas crossed the ball with power, and it hit Mancini’s knee, the one responsible for the magnificent assist.

Sevilla equalized at the Puskas Arena, sending their fans into a frenzy. The players seemed to be aware of the weight they carried in the competition, a weight that pushed Roma back.

Sevilla vence Roma nos pênaltis e conquista a Liga Europa pela 7ª vez

Image: Reuters

However, the Italians didn’t surrender. Although they had been dealt a blow, they knew the importance of bringing this unprecedented title to Rome.

From that point on, the game became extremely exciting. Both teams launched themselves into the attack, each in their own way, while maintaining tactical discipline.

Roma relied on aerial balls, especially from set-pieces, and had several chances to take the lead.

Sevilla, on the other hand, relied on a possession-based game, widening the field with Navas and attempting infiltrations, which also created several goal-scoring opportunities. The Andalusian club even had a penalty awarded on the field, but it was reviewed by VAR and overturned, causing a great commotion in the stadium.

Despite opportunities for both sides, the score remained unchanged, and the game went into extra time.

Extra time

Nerves were on edge at this stage. There were many interruptions and complaints directed at the referee team, especially after a penalty was awarded but subsequently overturned by Anthony Taylor, the traditional British referee.

The extra time was truly a battle. Taylor added excessive stoppage time. With all the additional minutes accumulated throughout the game, the players had played for over 140 minutes, an absolutely grueling feat.

In the beginning of the second half of extra time, injuries started to occur one after another, and the time taken for substitutions was significant.

Furthermore, Roma and José Mourinho strongly protested a penalty that wasn’t given when the ball clearly struck the arm of a Sevilla player inside the box. However, the referee stuck to his initial interpretation, stating that the player’s arm was close to his body, and nothing was awarded.

As a result, there was very little actual football being played. But the excitement couldn’t be lacking. At 120+10 minutes, Smalling received a cross, one of the many balls into the box by Roma, and hit the post.

The match ended, and the decision went to a penalty shootout.

Jose Mourinho brands Anthony Taylor a 'f---ing disgrace' and confronts referee in the car park

Image: Telegraph UK

Penalty Shootout

On one side, Rui Patrício, the experienced Portuguese goalkeeper. On the other, a great goalkeeper, capable of showcasing his skills on the world stage once again.

Moroccan goalkeeper Bounou gained worldwide recognition for his spectacular performance in the Qatar World Cup and is an expert at saving penalties.

The shootout began with Ocampos calmly slotting the ball into the net, opening the scoring for the Spanish side. Cristante, representing Roma, struck a firm shot into the bottom corner, finding the back of the net.

The second taker was Lamela, who placed his shot into the corner, scoring the goal.

Now begins the spectacular sequence from Bounou, facing Mancini. The defender, who had already experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in the game, stepped up to take the penalty. With an assist worthy of a number 10 and an own goal to his name, he ran to the ball and struck it with power. However, he didn’t anticipate Bounou’s heroic save, as the goalkeeper denied the shot.

Mancini experienced a rollercoaster of emotions indeed.

Rakitić stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the net. The responsibility fell to Ibañez, who had put in a solid performance for Roma. They say a well-taken penalty is one that goes in, right? But in this case, we must give an honorable mention. Bounou made an absolutely spectacular save, with the tips of his fingers grazing the ball, enough to keep it out of the net and hit the foot of the post instead.

The excitement of the game didn’t end there.

Montiel, the Argentine who clinched the World Cup title for Argentina in the last penalty shootout, took on the responsibility of doing the same for Sevilla. He stepped up, but his shot was saved by Rui Patrício. The Spaniards, ready to celebrate the title, saw their world come crashing down. However, the suffering only lasted for about 30 seconds.

VAR identified that Rui Patrício had come off his line early, and ordered for the penalty to be retaken. With the second chance at his feet, Montiel made no mistake and secured the 7th Europa League title for Sevilla.

Sevilla campeão: Eugênio Leal aponta Sevilla como 'maior clube médio da Europa'

Image: Lars Baron/Pool via REUTERS


Joy reigned on the Spanish side. Sevilla has now won 7 finals out of 7 in this competition.

Before the start of the match, one of the sequences would be broken. Either Mourinho would lose his first European final, or Sevilla would lose the Europa League final for the first time.

Sevilla’s streak remained intact, while Mourinho suffered his first defeat in a continental final.

Mourinho, who could face penalties for his numerous criticisms of referee Anthony Taylor, even followed the British referee after the game and uttered, “You are a disgrace.”

What remains, after the final whistle, is the undeniable ability of Sevilla to compete in this competition, as well as the battle that was fought where neither team was willing to accept defeat. But this is the essence of sports. This time, it was Roma shedding tears and Sevilla celebrating with a smile.

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Written by Vitor F L Miller

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Tags: Cups, Europa League, Highlights

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