- Sevilla IS the Europa League -
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - FINAL
|Liverpool||1 - 3||Sevilla|
| Sturridge 35'
Coke 64', 70'
THREE-PEAT for Sevilla! The Spanish side won their 3rd straight UEFA Europa League title after defeating Liverpool 3-1 in Basel. Liverpool took the lead in the first half, but a stellar second half from Sevilla was enough to give them another Europa League Championship!
The 2016 UEFA Europa League Final was a story of two halves. Liverpool dominated the first half and failed to convert on two great chances in the opening 15 minutes. Liverpool continued to press on and Swedish referee, Eriksson, failed to give Liverpool a penalty on two handballs in the box. The breakthrough came in the 35th minute when Sturridge’s brilliant outside curling shot found the back of the net. The Reds were close to doubling their lead five minutes later, but Lovren’s goal was called back due to an offside. The 1-0 lead remained into the half. The second half was a completely different story as Sevilla dominated the half. Twenty five seconds after the restart, Sevilla drew level when Gameiro tapped in Mariano’s cross from the right side. Sevilla controlled the pace of the game and the Spanish side took the lead in the 64th minute. Coke’s strike was perfectly placed in the bottom corner, beating Liverpool’s keeper Mignolet. Sevilla secured their victory 6 minutes later when Coke scored his second goal of the match from close range. Liverpool failed to create a chance in the final 20 minutes and they “paid” for their missed opportunities in the first half.
Sevilla was crowned champions of the UEFA Europa League for the 3rd straight year, the first team to do so. Additionally, Sevilla is the only team with 5 Europa League Championships and Spain is now the most successful country in the competition, with 10 Titles. As the UEFA Europa League Winner, Sevilla will gain automatic place in next year’s UEFA Champions League Group Stage. On the other hand, Liverpool will not play in European competition’s next year as they finished in 8th in the English Premier League.
*Sevilla’s win is also good news for Greek teams. If Sevilla wins the Copa Del Rey on Sunday, against Barcelona, Greece will earn an automatic position in next year’s UEFA Europa League Group Stage (avoiding qualifying). This spot will go to the Greek Cup Champion (AEK) or to the team that finishes second in the SuperLeague Playoffs (if AEK finishes 1st in the playoffs).
HIGHLIGHTS: LIVERPOOL - SEVILLA
Image Source: theguardian.com