Wednesday , June 19 2024

Sevilla Welcomes Liverpool To Their Territory

Sevilla completed a hat-trick of Europa League final appearances after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 (5-3 on aggregate) on Thursday.

Los Nervionenses are the first team since Juventus in 1998 to reach three consecutive finals in European competitions and now have the chance to win their fifth Europa League title.

Sevilla began the game with a high pressing tempo, forcing Shakhtar to give possession away cheaply.

Maksym Malyshev’s sloppiness gifted Kevin Gameiro a golden opportunity to race clear of Shakhtar’s’ defence and he duly obliged, slotting home the game’s opening goal under Andriy Pyatov.

Shakhtar appeared to have no answers as Sevilla’s front four found space on numerous occasions.

Unai Emery’s side soaked up the little pressure posed by their Ukrainian opponents but lost concentration with just a minute to go before half-time.

The Ukrainian side broke quickly from their own half on the counter-attack, Marlos carrying the ball and sliding through a delightful defence-cutting pass for Eduardo da Silva to cooly slot into the net.

The 2009 Europa League winners began the second-half where they left off the first, but soon had the wind knocked out of their sails.

Grzegorz Krychowiak had plenty of time and space to find Gameiro in the box as the Frenchman rounded Pyatov on the 47th minute mark and scored his seventh goal of the competition, dedicating his celebration to confirmed long-term absentee Michael Krohn-Deli.

Sevilla took that renewed confidence from Gameiro’s second strike and were soon celebrating their third goal on the night.

With 59 minutes gone, Mariano Ferriera found space on the right and blasted a long-range effort into the bottom corner to send the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pijuan into a state of euphoria.

Frustrations bubbled over for Shakhtar throughout as they chased the required two goals, picking up five yellow cards in the game after several poor challenges.

Mircea Lucescu’s players lost their way as the game progressed, Eduardo missing a gilt-edged header after 72 minutes.

Emery, celebrating his 100th European game as a coach, now takes his team to Basel for a final date with Liverpool on May 18.

With two Europa League trophies in the previous two seasons under their belt and chasing a third-straight title, it’s hard to bet against Sevilla bringing home the trophy to Andalusia once more.

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