Europa League thoroughbreds Sevilla worked their magic yet again to beat AS Roma 4-1 on penalties on Wednesday and lift the trophy for a record-extending seventh time, while handing Roma boss Jose Mourinho his first defeat in six European finals.
After an unspectacular match ended 1-1 after extra time, Sevilla ruthlessly punished the Italians in the shootout, with Gonzalo Montiel firing home the winning spot kick, just as he did for Argentina in the World Cup final against France.
Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou was their hero in the shootout, saving penalties from Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibanez while the Spaniards were flawless in their own execution, scoring their first four.
Sevilla, the undisputed kings of the Europa League, have now won all seven of the finals they have played in the competition, and are well-versed in the drama of the occasion, having seen their opponents score first in the last four finals.
Paulo Dybala gave Roma the lead from a counter-attack in the 35th minute but Sevilla then took control of the game and found the equaliser thanks to an own-goal by Mancini in the 55th minute.
“It was a Sevilla-style match. We have to suffer to win,” Lucas Ocampos told Spanish TV channel Movistar Plus. “This is not easy. What we have with this competition is something that cannot be explained.”
It was the third consecutive Europa League final that ended in a penalty shootout.
The win means Sevilla will compete in next season’s Champions League despite finishing outside the top-four in the La Liga.
Mourinho had never lost a European final before Wednesday, having last year led Roma to the inaugural Europa Conference League title, becoming the first coach to win all the European trophies.
Losing was clearly a painful experience for the Portuguese who handed his runners-up medal to a fan in the stand after the presentation.
“That’s what I did, I don’t like silver medals. I don’t keep silver medals, so I gave it away,” he told Movistar.