Sevilla cemented their enviable pedigree in the second-tier European competition by trouncing Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma Sevilla defeated AS Roma 4-1 on penalties on Wednesday to win their 7th straight Europa League title.
After six European championship games, Jose Mourinho had not lost. Five months after he had made the winning penalty for Argentina in the World Cup final, Gonzalo Montiel netted the deciding penalty to give Argentina the shootout victory 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.”
Mendilibar took over as Sevilla’s third coach this year in March after Jorge Sampaoli, a former Argentine coach, was fired with the team only two points above the LaLiga relegation zone. His team is currently one point off seventh place heading into this weekend’s championship round after losing just two of its last 11 league games.
“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.”
Having seen their opponents score first in the previous four finals, Sevilla, the indisputable monarchs of the Europa League, have now triumphed in all seven of the competition’s championship games. They are accustomed to the drama of the situation.