Sevilla FC emerged as victors in a nail-biting European League final against Roma. After a grueling three-hour battle and a dramatic penalty shootout, Sevilla clinched the first European trophy of the season. The main match ended in a 1:1 tie, but Sevilla dominated the penalty shootout, winning 4:1.
An Interrupted Streak
This final was significant as it ended two remarkable streaks in European football. Sevilla, the proud record-holders of the European League, have seized seven titles in as many finals. Conversely, Roma's Jose Mourinho, who had previously been undefeated in five European competition finals, experienced his first loss.
The match began as an intense struggle between the two European powerhouses. The opening chance came in the 12th minute with Lorenzo Spinazzola's on-target shot, skillfully thwarted by Sevilla's goalkeeper.
The Battle Rages On
Sevilla found themselves trailing after a slick move in the 35th minute saw Gianluca Mancini setting up Paul Dybala who clinically finished, outsmarting Yassine Bounou in Sevilla's goal.
Despite a valiant effort from Sevilla, they couldn't level the scoreline before halftime, their best opportunity bouncing off the post from Ivan Rakitić's shot. The commencement of the second half was less auspicious for Roma when an unfortunate deflection off Mancini resulted in an own goal, equalizing for Sevilla.
The following period was riddled with fierce fouls, interruptions, and contentious VAR decisions. Referee Anthony Taylor initially awarded a penalty to Sevilla in the 76th minute after a foul by Roger Ibanez. However, after consulting the VAR, the decision was reversed, despite the clear contact.
Five minutes later, in a similarly dubious situation on the other side, no penalty was awarded to Roma after a Sevilla player handled the ball.
A Game of Chances
As the match unfolded, both teams saw promising chances go begging.
Roma's Andrea Belotti sent a shot wide in the 83rd minute, and Sevilla's En-Nesyri headed over the bar from a Suso cross in the dying seconds of normal time. With the game locked at 1:1, both teams cautiously ventured into extra time, and subsequently, the penalty shootout.
In a test of nerve and precision, Sevilla proved superior, winning the shootout with a comfortable 4:1 scoreline, thereby securing their seventh European League title. This victory not only reinforces Sevilla's dominance in the competition but also signals an end to Mourinho's untarnished run in European competition finals.
- Sevilla 1:1 Roma (4:1 on penalties)
- Goals: Mancini own goal 55' (Sevilla) / Dybala 36' (Roma)