(Reuters) — Sevilla beat Roma 4-1 on penalties on Wednesday to be proclaimed Europa League champions for the seventh time in their history, with José Mourinho suffering his first defeat in six European finals.
Gonzalo Montiel, who scored the penalty late last year that gave Argentina their third world title against France, was once again tasked with sealing the run and giving Sevilla the crown.
Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou saved late shots from Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibáñez, while the Spanish side were flawless in their execution, scoring all four shots.
“Congratulations to everyone, in Sevillismo. There have been a lot of emotions this year (…) sometimes your head goes off and you’re not analyzing what’s going on. That’s why I try to take it normally. I remember people My family, my teammates, my friends have always supported me. It’s all very exciting,” said the Sevilla goalkeeper after the match.
The game ended 1-1 after extra time.
In the penalty shootout, Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning goal.
The defender missed his first shot but was granted extra time by Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio for going too far on the goal line.
Sevilla, the undisputed kings of the Europa League, have already won their seven finals in the competition and know the drama of the occasion well, having seen their rival score first in their last four finals.
This Wednesday, the game was tense from the start, with Roma defending at all costs with a five-man defense against Sevilla, who had almost 65% of possession, but were mostly outside the box full of Italians.
Referee Anthony Taylor handed out 14 yellow cards, the most in a Europa League match, and nearly 30 minutes of added time were played in total.
Paulo Dybala gave Roma the lead on the counterattack in the 35th minute, but Sevilla took control of the game and equalized thanks to Mancini’s own goal in the 55th minute.
Sevilla dominated the game from then on, but Roma had their best chances from counter-attacks and set pieces, including Chris Smalling’s header that hit the bar 10 minutes into stoppage time.
A difficult season for Sevilla
Sevilla have maintained their incredible record in the competition after an otherwise difficult season.
Languishing at the bottom of the table for much of a season in which he sacked two managers, Sevilla only returned to form after saying goodbye to the Champions League.
Their run to the final saw them defeat PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahçe and Manchester United, before beating Juventus in the semi-finals.
“It was a game like Sevilla’s. You have to suffer to win,” Argentinian Lucas Ocampos told Movistar Plus.
“It’s not easy. What we have with this competition is something that can’t be explained,” he added.
It was the third consecutive Europa League final that ended on penalties.
The win means Sevilla will compete in next season’s Champions League despite finishing outside the top four in LaLiga.
Mourinho had never lost a European final before Wednesday, having led Roma to their inaugural Europa Conference League title last year, becoming the first manager to lift all of the European trophies.
The defeat was clearly a painful experience for the Portuguese, who handed his second medal to a fan in the stands after the presentation.
“This is what I did, I don’t want any silver medals. I don’t keep silver medals, so I gave them away,” he told Movistar.