Europa League thoroughbreds Sevilla fought back to reach yet another final as substitute Erik Lamela scored with a fabulous header five minutes into extra time to earn a gritty 2-1 win over Juventus on Thursday, securing a 3-2 aggregate victory.
The Spaniards will bid for a record-extending seventh Europa League title when they face AS Roma in the final in Budapest on May 31, after Jose Mourinho’s side drew 0-0 at Bayer Leverkusen to secure a 1-0 aggregate victory in their semi-final.
“Yeah, an Italian team, a great team. If you look at it, it was going to be really hard to win the second leg, but we managed to. We were able to stay patient to then attack them – we were on the other side a lot more, but it was tough to break through. And then after the 0-1, Suso had a great goal which helped to keep us strong. We managed to win the match, but it was really tough,” Sevilla Coach, Jose Luis Mendilibar, said.
Juventus, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Sevilla in the first leg, looked on course to reach the final when substitute Dusan Vlahovic scored with a tidy finish in the 65th minute at a raucous Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
But midfielder Suso leveled six minutes later with a stunning long-range strike to take the game into extra time. Lamela then wrapped up the win when he leaped into a crowded area and sent a towering header into the net to delight the fans.