The highly anticipated final of the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League season is fast approaching, with Spanish giants Sevilla going head-to-head against Italian powerhouse Roma. This thrilling showdown promises to be a spectacular display of football prowess as two successful European clubs vie for the title of the 2nd most important European club football competition.
With Sevilla’s pedigree in the competition and Roma’s determination to claim European glory, we can expect a captivating encounter filled with drama, skill, and moments of brilliance. As the sun sets on Budapest’s Puskás Aréna on May 31, only one team will emerge victorious, etching their name in the annals of European footballing history.
Sevilla’s path to the final
The Spanish club is a formidable force in European competitions and has an impressive track record, having clinched the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League six times. Although Sevilla started the season in the Champions League, they dropped down to Europa League after finishing 3rd in the group stage. They have since knocked out PSV Eindhoven (3-2 on aggregate), Fenerbahce (2-1 on aggregate), Manchester United, and, lastly, Juventus on their way to the Europa League final.
Even though the 1st leg of the quarterfinal against Manchester United ended in a 2-2 tie, the English club got utterly humiliated in the 2nd leg. Two horrendous errors by Harry Maguire and David De Gea, plus a looping header from Sevilla defender Loic Bade resulted in three goals, dumping United out of the Europa League 2-5 on aggregate.
The semifinal saw them secure a thrilling 3-2 aggregate victory over Juventus. After a gripping encounter at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, the match extended into extra time, with substitutes making a decisive impact. Dusan Vlahovic and Suso exchanged goals, sending the tie into an additional 30 minutes. Ultimately, it was Erik Lamela, another substitute, who sealed the win for Sevilla with a headed goal, propelling his team into the final.
Roma’s path to the final
Roma, the reigning champions of the Europa Conference League, have their sights set on conquering yet another European competition. After eliminating Red Bull Salzburg (2-1 on aggregate) and Real Sociedad (2-0 on aggregate), they faced Feyenoord in the tournament quarterfinals. After losing 0-1 to the Dutch club in the first leg and a goalless first half of the 2nd leg, Roma provided a breathtaking climax of the match. Tied 1-1 but still down 1-2 on aggregate, Paulo Dybala scored a late equalizer in the 89th minute to send the match to extra time. From there, two more amazing goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini helped secure a confident 4-1 victory.
Finally, Roma sealed their place in the final with a 1-0 aggregate victory over Bayer Leverkusen thanks to Edoardo Bove’s goal in the first leg, which ultimately proved to be the only one across both games. In the 2nd leg, Jose Mourinho’s men held firm in a goalless draw in Germany, frustrating their opponents with resolute defense and six priceless saves by Rui Patricio. This triumph offers Roma the opportunity to claim their first Europa League title in over six decades and potentially become the first Italian club to win major European titles in consecutive seasons since the late 1980s.
What are the odds?
This clash between Sevilla and Roma adds another chapter to the rich history of encounters between Spanish and Italian sides in European finals. Out of the 13 previous instances, Spanish teams emerged victorious on nine occasions, including the last three finals. As the Spanish dominance remains fresh in memory, Roma aims to break the pattern and etch their name in history. Notably, if they clinch the trophy, Jose Mourinho will surpass Giovanni Trapattoni’s record of five major European titles, solidifying his status as one of the most successful managers in the competition’s history.
OlyBet sportsbook sees Sevilla as slight favorites with odds of 2.76, while Roma is rated at 2.92. But let’s not forget that Mourinho has won all five European finals in which the teams he has coached have appeared. That’s a flawless 100% record. Keeping it alive undoubtedly is a great incentive for the Portuguese expert. Which team will ultimately prevail? We’ll find out already this Wednesday.