Madrid, May 19 (IANS) Sevilla triumphed over Juventus 2-1 in an exhilarating 120-minute contest that extended into extra time, cementing a 3-2 aggregate victory to book a Europa League final against Roma.
Securing this chance to vie for their seventh Europa League title is a testament to Sevilla’s remarkable transformation under coach Jose Luis Mendilibar, who has overseen just one defeat in his 12-game tenure.
The initial half was an absolute spectacle of offensive prowess, with both teams creating opportunities to seize control in a fervently contested match, a Xinhua report said.
Sevilla’s goalkeeper, Bono, made an extraordinary save in the game’s 12th minute, deflecting Gatti’s powerful header following a corner kick. Sevilla dominated possession, and Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was forced to pull off a last-ditch save to thwart Lucas Ocampos’ diving header in the 23rd minute.
Following this, Youssef En-Nesyri inadvertently obstructed Ivan Rakitic after a corner, whereas at the other end, Angel Di Maria squandered two prime opportunities to put Juventus in the lead, sending one shot wide and failing to lift the ball over Bono.
The action remained relentless, with Szczesny twice denying Marcos Acuna, while Moise Kean’s effort clanged off the frame at the other end. Ocampos continued to pressure Szczesny, but a promising penalty appeal for Sevilla was dismissed. Despite Juan Cuadrado apparently fouling Oliver Torres, and TV images suggesting the foul occurred at least on the edge of the area, the VAR did not intervene.
In the second half, substitute Vlahovic put Juventus ahead, capitalizing on poor control in the Sevilla defence to clip the ball over Bono in the 65th minute. However, Sevilla responded swiftly, with Suso equalizing just six minutes later via an unstoppable shot from outside the box.
Fueled by the roaring home crowd — a sea of red shirts — Sevilla pressed on, seeking a decisive goal. Szczesny was forced into excellent saves to fend off attacks from Suso, Bryan Gil, and En Nesyri as normal time dwindled.
Just five minutes into extra time, Lamela put Sevilla ahead with a brilliant header, assisted by a precise cross from Gil, just moments after Bono had denied Vlahovic. The nerve-wracking match escalated further when Acuna received a second yellow card for time wasting during a throw-in in the 114th minute. Despite this setback, Sevilla persevered to clinch victory on yet another unforgettable night in southern Spain.