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Europa Cup specialists, Sevilla win seventh title



World Cup final shootout hero, Argentina’s Montiel was again the man that hit winning penalty for Sevilla in the Eurpa League Cup final to deny Mourinho a sixth European trophy after 1-1 draw with Roma

Incredible. Sevilla, yet again, are Europa League champions… for the sixth time! 

They were probably the better team, particularly in the second half, when they were excellent.

It was a scrappy affair and, when it came to penalties, Sevilla stood up to the task yet again – as they normally do.

And so, at the end of a long, dramatic, ugly night in Budapest, another slice of European history for Sevilla. 


It took more than 130 minutes, eight penalties, at least a dozen bookings and innumerable rounds of whingeing and warring between both benches. 

But eventually Sevilla did as they always do. They triumphed in the Europa League and, in so doing, inflicted a first defeat on this stage on Jose Mourinho.

Between them, the Roma manager and their Spanish opponents had tasted only victory across a combined 11 European finals. So naturally they could not be separated over 90 minutes. Or 120. 

And so it went to penalties, where Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning penalty – just as he did for Argentina in last year’s World Cup final. 

This time, he needed two bites at the cherry. His first penalty was saved but Rui Patricio was punished for encroaching. Montiel profited to cap a remarkable turnaround for Sevilla, who trailed on the night and were battling relegation until Jose Luis Mendilibar arrived in March. He has now secured their seventh Europa League title. No one else has won it more than three times. 


The real hero of the night, however, was referee Anthony Taylor, who somehow managed to keep a football match going amid all the histrionics and moaning. Mourinho was at the centre of it until the last, of course. 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.