Europa League: All The Memorable Finals Of Europe’s Finest
Europa League is often termed as a second tier competition of European football. However the immense competition in recent years has made it just as exciting as the Champions League for the audience.
If history tells us anything, it is that it’s not easy to win this tournament. A combination of hardwork, skill and passion seems to be quintessential to achieve triumph in this tournament.
Here at FootTheBall, we have compiled the UEL finals starting with the ‘Battle of Copenhagen’.
Arsenal vs Galatasaray1999-00
Winner: Galatasaray (0-0) (4-1pen)
Both teams had exited the UEFA Champions League by finishing 3rd in the group stage. And both team itched to get even as supporters went on riot in Battle of Copenhagen. This final went to the wire! And the decider went on to penalties where Arsenal only managed to score one goal!
Liverpool vs Alaves2000-01
Winner: Liverpool (5-4)
At the end of 90 minutes the score remained (4-4). The golden goal rule applied in extra time when Alaves buckled under pressure to concede an own goal. It was a ‘Crazy’ final indeed!
2001-02 Feyenoord vs Dortmund
Winner: Feyenoord (3-2)
Feyenoord were playing at their home ground and hence had the advantage of crowd support. The top scorer of the tournament Pierre van Hooijdonk from Feyenoord added 2 goals to his tally in the final.
2002-03 Celtic vs Porto
Winner: Porto (2-3)
The game was tied 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes. It was the first time when the silver goal rule was applied in extra time. However, it did not affect the outcome of the game since the winner came in the second half of extra time.
2003-04 Valencia vs Marseille
Winner: Valencia (2-0)
It was the last game for Rafa Benitez as manager of Valencia. Marseille conceded a penalty just before half time and another goal at 58 minutes. This sealed the win for Valencia.
2004-05 Sporting CP vs CSKA Moscow
Winner: CSKA Moscow (1-3)
Sporting opened the scoring session in the first half. However CSKA Moscow scored three goals in the second half. CSKA Moscow became the first ever Russian side to win the competition.
2005-06 Middlesbrough vs Sevilla
Winner: Sevilla (4-0)
Sevilla were relentless throughout their campaign. They were favorites to win going into the final and the scoreline proved it. They put 4 goals past Middlesbrough without letting them score even once.
2006-07 Espanyol vs Sevilla
Winner: Sevilla (2-2) (3-1pen)
Sevilla won the match on penalties after extra time. They became the first club after real Madrid in 1985 to win the competition twice in a row.
2007-08 Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Rangers
Winner: Zenith (2-0)
Zenit’s manager had once managed Rangers. Dick Advocaat – the man dubbed the Little General during his time in charge at Ibrox had also won the Scottish treble. He helped Zenit become the second Russian side ever to win the competition.
2008-09 Shakhtar Donetsk vs Werder Bremen
Winner: Shakhtar Donetsk (2-1)
The match went to extra time with both sides scoring one goal in the first half. However 7 minutes into extra time Shakhtar scored the winner. It was also the last edition of the tournament as UEFA cup before being rebranded to Europa Cup after this.
Atletico Madrid vs Fulham2009-10
Winner: Atletico Madrid (2-1)
Fulham were playing only their second ever major cup final. Atletico Madrid and Fulham had never played against each other before this match, and Atletico were Fulham’s first ever Spanish opponents. Atletico being favourites went on to defeat the English side.
2010-11 Porto vs Braga
Winner: Porto (1-0) Porto won the competition for the second time. Falcao scored the only goal in the final and became the top scorer of the tournament with 17 goals to his accord.
2011-12 Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao
Winner Atletico Madrid (3-0)
Falcao scored two goals to become Man of the Match. He also became the first player ever to win the competition in 2 consecutive times with 2 different teams. The game became relatively easy for Atletico after obtaining the 2 goal lead.
Winner: Chelsea (1-2)
Chelsea was the Champions League winner of the previous season. However, they got knocked out in the group stage of this season. They redeemed themselves by going on to win the Europa league. They did not make any substitutions throughout the course of the final.
2013-14 Sevilla vs Benfica
Winner: Sevilla (0-0)(4-2pen)
Benfica became the team with most finals lost in this competition after losing it for the second consecutive time. Sevilla would later on join Juventus and Liverpool as the teams who have won the tournament 3 times.
2014-15 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk vs Sevilla
Winner: Sevilla (2-3)
It was a close game overall. The score was tied up at half time before Sevilla scored the winner. There were many spells in which sevilla dominated possession but Dnipro was constantly putting pressure.
2015-16 Sevilla vs Liverpool
Winner: Sevilla (3-1)
Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for Liverpool. Sevilla however equalized almost immediately. The game was tied up at half time but then Sevilla scored 2 more goals in the second half. They became the first team ever to win the tournament 3 times in a row.
Winner: Manchester United (0-2)
Paul Pogba opened the scoring for Manchester United when his shot got deflected into the goal. Mkhitaryan also added his name to the scoresheet by scoring from an overheadkick from 3 yards out. Herrera was named Man of the Match for his phenomenal performance.
2017-18 Marseille vs Atletico Madrid
Winner: Atletico Madrid (0-3)
Griezmann scored twice to be named Man of the Match. Marseille’s captain Dmitri Payet came off with an injury in the 32nd minute. The game was closely contested in the first half but went in favour of Atletico Madrid in the second half.