Sevilla Defeat Liverpool to Win the Europa League
Defending champions Sevilla won a third Europa League on the spin after a 3-1 comeback victory over Liverpool at an electric St Jakob Park in Basel Wednesday night.
The Reds, seeking a first European trophy since their memorable Champions League triumph in Istanbul 11 years ago, dominated the early stages of the encounter and deservedly took the lead after a sublime goal in the 35th minute from Daniel Sturridge.
The England striker exquisitely curled an in-swinging shot with the outside of his left boot to beat Sevilla goalkeeper David Soria at the far post.
The goal sparked a strong spell for Jurgen Klopp’s men who should have doubled their lead when Nathaniel Clyne’s low cross sailed across the face of the goal with Sturridge’s outstretched foot coming a tad late.
Sevilla desperately clung on until halftime, and hit back in brutal fashion when Alberto Moreno’s headed clearance was picked up by Mariano Perreira who burst to the byline and produced a low cross for Kevin Gameiro to tap in the equaliser – less than 30seconds into the second half.
The Frenchman was put through again two minutes later but was denied a second goal by the quick recovery of centre-back Kolo Toure.
With the Spanish side in the ascendency, Vitolo set up their go ahead goal in the 64th minute after a neat exchange of passes in midfield before Coke sped in from the left to riffle a low shot past Simon Mignolet from the edge of the area.
And it was all over as a contest in the 70th minute as influential playmaker Ever Banega found Coke who blasted past Mignolet for his second on the night amid furious protests from Liverpool following a moment’s hesitation from the officials.
Victory for Sevilla means Spanish sides will make a clean sweep of European trophies for the third season running as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid contest the Champions League final in Milan on May 28.
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