Sevilla fight back to beat Juventus and reach Europa League final,Sevilla, renowned contenders in the Europa League, staged a remarkable comeback to secure their place in yet another final. Substitute Erik Lamela, with an impressive header five minutes into extra time, clinched a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Juventus on Thursday, resulting in a 3-2 aggregate win.
On May 31, in the final held in Budapest, the Spanish team will strive for an unprecedented seventh Europa League title, facing AS Roma. Jose Mourinho’s side confirmed their spot in the final with a goalless draw against Bayer Leverkusen, securing a 1-0 aggregate victory in the semifinal.
Sevilla fight back to beat Juventus and reach Europa League final
Despite the first leg ending in a 1-1 draw against Sevilla, Juventus seemed on track to reach the final when substitute Dusan Vlahovic neatly found the back of the net in the 65th minute at the lively Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
However, midfielder Suso swiftly responded six minutes later with an astonishing long-range strike, taking the game to extra time. Lamela then sealed the triumph with an exceptional leaping header amidst a crowded area, delighting the fans.
This was an immensely satisfying night for Sevilla, as the kings of the Europa League once again showcased their prowess in their favored competition, following a challenging season. Struggling in the lower half of LaLiga for a significant period, with two managerial changes, Sevilla rediscovered their spark after exiting the Champions League. They defeated PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahce, and Manchester United before overcoming Juventus.
Sevilla captain Jesus Navas expressed his elation, stating, “This is madness, incredible, it’s time to enjoy this amazing moment. The fans have been incredible and they deserve everything. We have shown the courage we have inside of us to recover after going through some rough months. The courage of the fans has carried us, and we are here again in another European final. It’s been my team since I was a kid, living every game with so much passion. It’s our turn to enjoy.”
Similar to the first leg in Turin, where Sevilla dominated but allowed their opponents to equalize in added time, they once again controlled possession on Thursday, buoyed by an electric atmosphere in a packed Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny stood out as arguably the best player on the field during the first half, making several crucial saves, including a one-handed stop to deny Navas’ diving header from close range.
Just as Sevilla seemed in complete control, squandering chances, Dusan Vlahovic, the Juventus striker, opened the scoring three minutes after coming off the bench. Capitalizing on a momentary hesitation by defenders Nemanja Gudelj and Loic Bade, he won the challenge and skillfully beat goalkeeper Bono with a calm finish.
Nevertheless, Sevilla swiftly responded through Suso’s thunderous strike, which soared into the top corner, igniting the crowd’s passion. They relentlessly pressured Juventus until Lamela scored the decisive goal in extra time.
The only blemish for Sevilla was the second yellow card shown to left-back Marcos Acuna during extra time for time-wasting, resulting in his suspension for the Budapest final.