Sevilla Outplay Liverpool 3-1 To Retain Europa League Title
Liverpool started with a counterattacking tactic and waited for chances while Sevilla had more possession but were not able to convert it into an organised attack.
Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for Liverpool in the 35th minute. The English forward lodged a left footed inswinging curler past the Sevilla goalkeeper to give the Reds an early lead.
Liverpool defender Dejan Loveren headed the ball past Soria to find the net in the 38th minute but the goal was ruled out due to an offside.
Sevilla looked a bit disorganised but had their first chance when Kevin Gameiro fired a shot in the 20th minute which went just a bit wide of the post.
However after the half-time break things looked different all together. Just 18 seconds after the re-start Mariano Perreira dodged two Liverpool defenders including former Sevilla player Alberto Moreno to find Gameiro, who pulled one back for Sevilla 1-1.
Just two minutes later a crucial interception from Kolo Toure prevented Gameiro from scoring his second.
Gameiro’s equaliser changed the entire tempo and flow of the game, as Liverpool struggled to keep the ball and repeated infiltrations from the Sevilla front line exposed the loopholes in the Liverpool defence.
Vitolo curated the second goal for Sevilla in the 64th minute when he exchanged passes with two Sevilla players before captain Coke rushed in to fire a blinder past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, from the edge of the penalty area.
Midfielder Coke repeated the feat six minutes later when the ball took a deflection of two Liverpool players and unmarked Coke tapped it in past Mignolet and put an end to Liverpool’s dreams of playing the UEFA Champions League next season.
The third goal was furiously opposed by Liverpool officials as the assistant referee had signalled an offside against coke, but later put his flag down to validate the goal.
“Liverpool played a good first half but the manager told us we need to change the game, we needed to believe and we did what he said. Scoring easily in the second half helped us and Liverpool did not have any chances,” said Sevilla defender Daniel Carrico
“Next season we will be in the Champions League and it is another challenge for us. We will see what happens next season but it is now time to celebrate,” he concluded.
“We never started in the second half and it is devastating. We didn’t show anywhere near our ability and that is the biggest disappointment,” said Liverpool captain James Milner.
“We didn’t think about the Champions League, it was about winning this trophy. We didn’t manage to get over the line. It is a double blow not to be in Europe next season. We got into two finals and lost both, next time we need to finish the job,” he concluded.