Sevilla Come From Behind To Reach Sixth Europa League Final

Welcome back home, Sevilla. Julen Lopetegui’s Andalusians landed in the Europa League Final for the 6th time in their history as they came from behind to beat Manchester United 2-1 on Sunday night on neutral turf in Cologne.

Sevilla booked their ticket to the last act with some good determination but also thanks to their substitute goalkeeper Yassine Bounou’s heroics. Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s Red Devils, on the other hand, left the RheinEnergieStadion with many regrets as it was Manchester to conduct the operations, especially in the second half.

Solskjaer decided to deploy Paul Pogba who is just back from an injury but the Frenchman had basically no impact on the match. Sevilla’s Lopetegui confirmed the same starting eleven that had dumped Roma out of the competition a few days ago.

Manchester drew first blood after just nine minutes as a quick Anthony Martial pass put Marcus Rashford in front of Sevilla’s goal. Yassine Bounou stopped him with a marvelous save, but Diego Carlos tackled the Manchester striker in the process causing a penalty. From the spot, Bruno Fernandes made no mistake and broke the deadlock.

It took a while for Sevilla to take countermeasures and their first chance was a Lucas Ocampos shot that David De Gea parried with his fists.

In the 25th minute, Sergio Reguilon run all along the left flank and worked the ball for Ocampos in the Red Devils’ area. The Argentine whipped it to Suso on the opposite side and the former Milan winger easily found the back of De Gea’s net to draw level for Sevilla.

After a few minutes of stalemate in which both sides slowed down the match pace, Rashford tried to catch Bounou by surprise with a shot from sidereal distance, but the Moroccan goalie pushed his attempt back. He did the same just before the half-time break, driving away a quick snapshot from Bruno Fernandes.

Netherlands’ Luuk De Jong scored Sevilla’s winner in the second half, but Manchester United’s defenders Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are much to blame in the occasion…

The trend didn’t change after the restart, with Bruno Fernandes immediately turning provider and offering a golden pass to Mason Greenwood – whose shot gave Yassine Bounou another chance to shine.

The Andalusian goalie totally stole the stage in the immediate aftermath as he denied four times Anthony Martial in the space of a couple of minutes, with Manchester United now in full-scale attack mode. Not bad for somebody who wasn’t even supposed to play if not for Tomas Vaclik’s persisting injury.

Despite the Red Devils’ domination, however, Sevilla struck when one was less expecting it. In the 78th minute, Jesus Navas worked the ball on the right flank and whipped it in the box for substitute Luuk De Jong. The Dutchman’s conversion brought the Spanish side ahead, but there was some clear fault on Victor Lindelof’s part in the occasion as the Swedish center-back failed to mark De Jong.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went all-in for Manchester with four changes in the last minutes including additional striker Juan Mata in place of a defender but the score didn’t change anymore despite six minutes of added time granted by referee Felix Brych.

The gods of Europa League favored once again Sevilla and it will be the Andalusians to face either Inter or Shakhtar Donetsk in the Final on Friday.



August 16, 2020 – Europa League 2019-20 Semi-Finals

SCORERS: 9′ Fernandes (M, pen.), 26′ Suso (S), 78′ L. De Jong (S)

SEVILLA (4-3-3): Bounou; Jesus Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Reguilon; Banega, Fernando, Jordan (86′ Gudelj); Ocampos (55′ Munir), Suso (73′ Vazquez), En-Nesyri (55′ L. De Jong) (Vaclík, Sánchez, Sergi Gómez, Escudero, Óliver Torres, Lara, Diaz, Rodriguez, Perez Rico) Coach: Lopetegui
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (88′ Mata), Lindelof, Maguire, Williams (88′ Fotu-Mensah); Pogba, Fred; Greenwood (92′ Ighalo), Bruno Fernandes, Rashford (88′ James); Martial (Romero, Grant, Bailly, Lingard, Pereira, Matic, McTominay, Mengy) Coach: Solskjaer

REFEREE: Brych (Germany)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Diego Carlos, Munir (S), Williams, Rashford, Maguire (M); Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 6′