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Europa League domination

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Sevilla always find a way in the Europa League, don’t they? The Spanish giants’ 2-1 win over Juventus in the second leg of their semifinal clash granted them their seventh appearance in the competition’s final. One notable fact, Los Nervionenses have never lost in the final of the tournament. This is an incredible achievement for a club that won their first title only in 2006.

This is Sevilla’s fifth appearance in a Europa League final in the last nine years. These are Real Madridesque numbers which prove Sevilla’s domination. And the fact that Sevilla has won the competition many times shows that the team always bring their best to the competition no matter their form in the league or other cup tournaments.

So, with the club on the cusp of winning their seventh title, we look at all their past Sevilla Europa League wins that transformed them from also rams to Europa League royalty.

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2006 – First Europa League Win

Sevilla’s first triumph came in the 2005-06 season when the competition was called the UEFA Cup. The club were drawn into Group H, comprising Zenit St. Petersburg, Bolton, Besiktas, and Vitoria de Guimaraes. Sevilla finished top of the group, winning two, drawing one and losing one.

Since the competition didn’t allow ‘same group’ protection, Sevilla faced Bolton in the round of 32, beating them 3-1 on aggregate. Their next challenge was French side Lille, who were defeated 2-1 over two legs. Finally, they met another group member Zenit in the quarter-finals, who were thrashed 5-2 on aggregate.

Their biggest challenge awaited them next as they faced Bundesliga powerhouses Schalke 04. In an intense leg, Sevilla emerged victorious 1-0 on aggregate. However, they had crossed the main hurdles, and in the final, their opponent Middlesborough were chasing shadow for most of the match as Sevilla ran out 4-0 winners.

2007- Second Europa League Win

It was like Sevilla were a lion who had tasted blood for the first time and now were yearning for more. And they would win it again the very next season. This time the club were drawn into Group D, comprising AZ Alkmaar, Braga, Slovan Liberec, and Grasshopper. Similarly, they posted the same record of two wins, one draw and one loss to qualify for the knockout round.

They faced Romanian outfit FC Steaua Bucuresti in the round of 32, who were defeated 3-0 over two legs. However, following that, Sevilla would have to endure four back-to-back tough opponents to win the crown.

Shakhtar Donetsk were the first opponent. And after a goal-fest over two legs, Sevilla ran out winners 5-4 on aggregate. Next came English side Tottenham Hotspur who gave Sevilla a run for their money but still lost out 4-3 on aggregate. They then faced fellow La Liga side Osasuna beating them 2-1 on aggregate after turning a one-goal deficit from the first leg.

They face another Spanish side in the final, taking on Espanyol. While Sevilla had finished 22 points and eight places above their opponents, the final showed no such gulf in quality as both teams went toe-to-toe. The match ended as a 2-2 draw, but Sevilla kept their cool and won 3-1 on penalties to secure their second crown.

2014- Third Europa League Win

It would take Sevilla another seven years to reach another final in the competition. By 2014, the tournament had been christened as the Europa League. Throughout the significant part of the season, Sevilla were balancing their La Liga campaign and Europa League campaigns. While they missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing fifth, their continental campaign was far more successful.

Sevilla were drawn into Group H with Slovan Liberec, SC Freiburg and Estoril. They finished as group toppers and faced against Slovenian club Maribor. Sevilla would win 4-3 on aggregate after two fiercely contested legs. Their next opponent were Real Betis. Sevilla lost the first leg at home 2-0 but made a spectacular recovery to win the away leg 2-0 before triumphing on penalties.

They faced Porto next, who won the first leg, but Sevilla blew them away in the return fixture 4-1. In the semifinals, they faced fellow La Liga side Valencia which they won on away goals rule. The final against Benfica was a cautious affair as no goals were scored after 120 minutes of football. However, just like their previous triumph, Sevilla kept their coll to win their third title on penalties.

2015- Fourth Europa League Win

Finishing fifth in the La Liga in the 2013-14 season gave them another shot in the Europa League. The defending champions were drawn into Group G with Feyenoord, Rijeka and Standard Liege. Sevilla would finish second in the group and faced Borussia Monchengladbach in the round of 32 winning both legs (1-0 and 3-2). Sevilla would decimate fellow La Liga side 5-2 on aggregate.

Sevilla’s next opponent were Zanit, a team Sevilla had faced at the same stage during their 2006 triumph. The Spaniards ran out 4-3 winners over two legs before destroying Fiorentina 5-0 over two legs in the semifinal.

Their opponent in the final were Ukrainian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, and after a tense match where both teams exchanged leads, Carlos Bacca scored the winning goal to win back-to-back titles.

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2016- Fifth Europa League Win

Sevilla had now won back-to-back Europa League two times; however, they were hungry for more and wanted to script history. And for this, manager Unai Emery put all his resources to work in the tournament. It reflected as Sevilla finished the la liga season seventh, 12 points adrift of the Champions League places with a goal difference of plus 1.

However, in 2015 UEFA brought a rule that the winner of the Europa League would automatically qualify for next year’s Champions League. Sevilla, though, found themselves in the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Manchester City and Juventus.

They won the round of 32 and the round of 16 clash easily against Molde and Basel, respectively. However, their next match was their toughest, as they faced Athletic Bilbao, who pushed them to their limits. Here, Sevilla used their prior experience yet again to win on penalties.

They faced Shakhtar Donetsk in the semifinal and were victorious 5-3 over two legs. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool awaited them in the final, and despite being touted as the underdogs, Sevilla shocked everyone to emerge victorious, creating history and becoming the first side to win three consecutive Europa League titles.

2020- Sixth Europa League Win

Sevilla Europa League wins was followed by three seasons where they failed to get the crown. That changed under manager Julen Lopetegui in the Covid-19-affected 2019-20 season. Sevilla were drawn into Group A with APOEL, Qarabag, and F91 Dudelange. Sevilla dominated the group, winning five to qualify as group toppers.

They faced CFR Cluj in the round of 32, beating them on penalties. However, unlike their previous campaigns, the 2019-20 one was based on solid defensive strategies, with the team winning by a minimal margin.

In the round of 16, they defeated AS Roma 2-0. The following two rounds saw them facing English opposition Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United, respectively. The matches were played in a single-game format due to the Covid-19 crisis. Sevilla defeated Wolves 1-0 before taking down Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team 2-1 in the final four.

Standing between them and a sixth Europa League crown were Inter Milan, who had narrowly missed out on winning the Serie A title. However, Europa League is where Sevilla shine, and they did precisely that, defeating the Nerazzurri 3-2.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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