Sevilla claimed their record-extending seventh Europa League title by defeating Roma 4-1 in a thrilling penalty shootout at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. Gonzalo Montiel, who famously converted the winning penalty for Argentina in the World Cup final, secured victory with the decisive spot-kick.
The Europa League specialists dealt a blow to Roma manager Jose Mourinho, who suffered his first defeat in a European final after previously winning five Europa League Title. “I have to fight for these lads and therefore can’t objectively say that I will stay,” Mourinho told Sky Italy following the loss. “I lost this one, but I return home prouder than ever this time.”
High level of contestation
The match witnessed a high level of contestation, with the referees issuing more yellow cards to coaching and technical staff in the respective dugouts than to players. After Sevilla canceled out Paulo Dybala’s well-taken opener with Gianluca Mancini’s own goal, the game entered into extra time before Sevilla emerged victorious in the penalty shootout. Like Roma, Sevilla experienced a challenging domestic campaign, marked by relegation fears until recently. However, they thrive in continental competitions.
Roma took an early lead when Dybala expertly finished Mancini’s precise pass, finding the far corner with his favored left foot (35th minute). However, Mancini’s own goal leveled the score for Sevilla ten minutes into the second half. After a lackluster period of extra time, Montiel settled the tie with the winning penalty. It is worth noting that the referees deemed that goalkeeper Rui Patricio encroached on Montiel’s first attempt, which they saved, leading to a retake.
Five months after Montiel scored the winning penalty on the biggest stage, he once again converted the decisive spot-kick in a European final, crowning Sevilla as champions at the expense of Mourinho’s Roma.
The masters of Europe‘s second-tier competition narrowly triumphed in a fiery encounter, securing their unbelievable seventh victory.
Mourinho’s Future in Roma
Mourinho, whose future at Roma is now uncertain, had been on track to become the most decorated European manager with six trophies when Dybala overcame an ankle injury to give Roma the lead.
However, Mancini, who had assisted Dybala, inadvertently turned the ball into his own net, resulting in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of play. “I don’t want silver medals. I don’t keep silver medals, so I gave it away,” the frustrated Roma boss later told Movistar.
Both benches showed visible tension from the beginning, with referee Anthony Taylor presiding over the game, aware of the magnitude of the occasion – European glory and a chance to secure a spot in the next season’s Champions League.
Tempers flared, particularly when Ibanez appeared to foul Ocampos in the penalty area.Taylor initially awarded a penalty but swiftly reversed the decision after VAR intervention, citing minimal contact. While yellow cards accumulated, Roma came close to securing victory, but Belotti’s volley, following a clever free-kick routine, missed the target.
The penalty shootout began with Ocampos and Lamela scoring for their respective teams, with Cristante also finding the net for Roma. However, Sevilla gained an advantage when Mancini’s weak attempt was saved by Bono.
Ibanez’s strike agonizingly struck the post, and although Patricio appeared to offer hope for Roma by tipping Montiel’s spot-kick onto the crossbar, his encroachment granted the full-back another chance he hesitated to refuse.
“It was a Sevilla-style match. We have to suffer to win. This is not easy. What we have with this competition is something that cannot be explained.”