Sevilla beat AS Roma 4-1 on penalties Wednesday to win the Europa League for a record-extending seventh time, handing Jose Mourinho his first defeat in six European finals.
Five months after scoring the winning penalty in the World Cup final for Argentina, Gonzalo Montiel converted the clinching spot kick to seal the shootout win after the match finished 1-1 following extra time in Budapest, HuNgary
“Sevilla is a great team; we knew that,” Mourinho said after the match. “They have the experience and good quality players that we don’t have. We played a great first half, Sevilla reacted in the second half. After that, it was balanced.
“Over the 120 minutes, we had the best chances to win. Then penalties are penalties, you score, you save them.”
Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou, who made it to the semifinals of the 2022 World Cup with Morocco, saved spot kicks from Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibanez, while Sevilla were flawless in their execution, scoring their first four.
“I have lived a lot of moments like this and I understood that you have to be very calm to face these moments,” Bounou said. “My colleagues also gave me a lot of calm and security. It’s been a year of emotions with the World Cup and now this. I always said that I’m a club worker, ready to defend Sevilla. [Manager] Jose Luis Mendilibar trusted me and I had to repay that trust.”
Replacing former Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli in March, Mendilibar became Sevilla’s third coach this season with the team just two points clear of the LaLiga relegation zone. His lineup has lost only two of 11 league games since then and is now one point off seventh place going into the final round this weekend.
“I’m happy to be here, to have won for the club, which was having a hard time when we got here,” Mendilibar said. “We have done something good that can have repercussions for the good of the club.”
Sevilla, the undisputed kings of the Europa League, have now won all seven of the finals they have played in the competition and are well-versed in the drama of the occasion, having seen their opponents score first in the last four finals.
Paulo Dybala gave the Italians the lead from a counterattack in the 35th minute but Sevilla then took control of the game and found the equaliser thanks to an own goal by Mancini in the 55th minute.
The win means Sevilla, who have never lost a Europa League final, will compete in next season’s Champions League despite finishing outside the top four in the LaLiga.
Sevilla’s Erik Lamela, who played for Roma from 2011 to 2013, said: “It was a very difficult match, against my former team. I love them very much, but football is like that. This is my first title, I’ve waited a lot and I’m so excited.
“Maybe it wasn’t our best match, but I think we deserved for the effort made this year. The team has never stopped.”