BUDAPEST: Sevilla found their Europa League magic formula on Wednesday, beating Roma 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to make it seven wins in seven finals in Europe’s second-tier competition. The Spanish side trailed after Paulo Dybala’s first-half opener in Budapest but pulled level in the second period when Roma defender Gianluca Mancini scored an own goal.
Dybala ran between two defenders and latched onto Mancini’s through ball from the center circle, coolly slotting his shot past Bounou. Sevilla, finally finding some fluency, came agonizingly close to levelling deep into the seven minutes of added-on time when Ivan Rakitic drilled a fierce left-footed strike from distance that cannoned back off an upright.
Sevilla boss Jose Luis Mendilibar brought on forwards Suso and Erik Lamela for Oliver Torres and Bryan Gil at the break and the Spanish side began the second period on the front foot. They were level after 10 minutes when Mancini bundled a Jesus Navas cross from the right into his own net from close range. Roma seemed certain to re-take the lead against the run of play midway through the second half but the Sevilla defenders somehow scrambled the ball away after several stabs at goal from close range. Dybala, starting a match for the first time since mid-April, was withdrawn, with midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum coming on to replace him.
Sevilla thought they had a penalty with 15 minutes to go after referee Anthony Taylor ruled that Ibanez had brought down Lucas Ocampos but the decision was overturned by VAR. The Italian side should have been ahead in the 83rd minute but substitute Andrea Belotti failed to keep his shot on target with only the goalkeeper to beat after captain Lorenzo Pellegrini found him with a clever dinked free-kick.
Extra-time was largely uneventful as tempers flared between the two benches but Roma defender Chris Smalling almost snatched the win when he hit the woodwork with a looping header from a corner in the dying seconds. Sevilla had the advantage in the shootout when Mancini’s penalty was saved and when Ibanez hit the post the Spanish side appeared certain winners. But there was still more drama to come. Montiel’s effort was saved by Rui Patricio but the kick was ordered to be re-taken after an encroachment by the goalkeeper and this time the Argentine made no mistake.