Sevilla secured a record-extending seventh Europa League title after beating Roma 4-1 in a dramatic penalty shootout at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.
Gonzalo Montiel, who converted the winning penalty for Argentina in the World Cup final, scored the deciding spot-kick.
The Europa League specialists condemned Roma manager Jose Mourinho to his first European final loss, having triumphed on five such occasions previously.
“I have to fight for these lads and therefore not say objectively that I will remain,” Mourinho told Sky Italy in the aftermath of the defeat. “I lost this one, but I return home prouder than ever this time.”
A furiously contested encounter, where more yellow cards were issued to coaching and technical staff in respective dugouts than players, went to extra-time after Gianluca Mancini’s own goal cancelled out Paulo Dybala’s well-taken opener, before Sevilla prevailed in the shootout.
Similar to Roma, but to a greater extent, Sevilla have endured an arduous domestic campaign, marred by relegation fears until recently, but continental competition tends to be their mecca.
The Andalucian club’s air of invincibility was under threat after Dybala collected Mancini’s defence-splitting pass, allowing the ball to roll across his body onto his favoured left boot and finding the far corner in one swift motion (35).
But, during a particularly argumentative tussle, Mancini’s own goal 10 minutes into the second half gifted Sevilla parity, and after a lifeless period of extra-time, Montiel settled the tie with the winning penalty – crucially, only after benefiting from a retake when goalkeeper Rui Patricio was adjudged to encroach on his first effort, which was saved.
How Montiel became the penalty hero – again
Five months after scoring the winning penalty on the biggest stage of all, Montiel converted the clinching spot-kick, this time in a European final, to crown Sevilla champions at the expense of Mourinho’s Roma.
A hot-tempered affair was narrowly edged by the masters of Europe’s second-tier competition, who will journey home to Spain with an unbelievable seventh scalp.
Mourinho, whose Roma future is now in question, was on track to become the most decorated European manager in history with six trophies when Dybala overcame a problem ankle injury in time to give the Serie A side the lead.
But Mancini, who had provided the assist for Dybala, then turned awkwardly into his own net as a tempestuous tie finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.
“I don’t want silver medals. I don’t keep silver medals, so I gave it away,” the irritated Roma boss later told Movistar.
Both benches were visibly tetchy from the off, with English referee Anthony Taylor tasked with overseeing proceedings, helped in so small part by the magnitude of what was at stake – European glory, but also the chance to earn a spot on the billing of next season’s Champions League.
Tempers frayed, particularly when Lucas Ocampos went over Roger Ibanez’s trailing leg and Taylor pointed to the spot late in the second period, only for VAR to intervene, highlighting minimal contact as the award was swiftly rescinded.
While the names piled up in the Taylor’s black book, Roma almost had the last laugh but Andrea Belotti, on for Tammy Abraham, miscued a volley after a smart free-kick routine.
The shootout started with Ocampos and Erik Lamela scoring either side of Bryan Cristante doing so for Roma, but it was advantage Sevilla when Mancini’s tame effort rebounded off a diving Bono’s outstretched leg.
Ibanez then saw his strike cannon agonisingly against the post and while Patricio appeared to have given Roma hope when tipping Montiel’s spot-kick on to the upright, his encroachment gave the full-back another chance he was reluctant to refuse.
Ocampos’ audacious no-look penalty
Sevilla midfielder Lucas Ocampos speaking to Spanish TV channel Movistar:
“It was a Sevilla-style match. We have to suffer to win. This is not easy. What we have with this competition is something that cannot be explained.”
Mourinho uncertain over Roma future
“I have to fight for these lads and therefore not say objectively that I will remain,” the 60-year-old told Sky Italy. “I spoke to the club in December when I had that approach from the Portuguese national team.
“I have not had any contact with anyone else since then. I have a year left on my contract and this is the situation.
“We are dead tired, but proud. I always say you can lose a football match, but never your dignity or professionalism.
“I lost this one, but I return home prouder than ever this time. The lads gave absolutely everything this season.”
Sevilla visit Real Sociedad in their final LaLiga game of the season on Sunday; kick-off 5.30pm. Meanwhile, Roma host Spezia on the same day in their final Serie A encounter of the campaign at 8pm.
Fixture releases, start dates, final days and play-offs – get the key dates for your diary for the 2023/24 season in the Premier League, EFL, WSL, SPFL and beyond.