Jose Mourinho into another European final as Roma set up Sevilla showdown
Jose Mourinho’s Roma will take on perennial Europa League champions Sevilla in the final in Budapest in two weeks’ time.
Roma stoutly defended their 1-0 advantage from the first leg against Bayer Leverkusen to secure the goalless draw they needed while Sevilla defeated Juventus 2-1 after extra-time.
Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen threw everything at Roma in a bid to level matters on aggregate but the closest they came was a powerful shot from Moussa Diaby in the 12th minute that hit the bar.
It was a Mourinho masterclass in the second half as Roma denied their opponents clear-cut opportunities, with Sardar Azmoun’s close-range effort going narrowly wide late on.
Roma are bidding to make it back-to-back European titles after winning the Europa Conference League last season.
A thrilling game in Seville was decided by Erik Lamela’s header five minutes into extra-time.
Moise Kean hit the post for Juve in the first half but they were indebted to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for a string of saves, the best denying Lucas Ocampos.
The Italians took the lead in the 65th minute through Dusan Vlahovic moments after he came off the bench, but six minutes later another substitute, Suso, equalised with a stunning strike.
Sevilla thought they had won it at the end of normal time but Szczesny produced another brilliant save to keep out Youssef En-Nesyri’s header.
The Pole was beaten by Lamela, though, the Argentinian meeting Bryan Gil’s cross with a header into the bottom corner, and, despite Marcos Acuna being shown a second yellow card for time wasting, Sevilla held on to reach a seventh final in 18 years, where they will look to maintain their perfect record.
F I N A L 💜#ForzaViola #Fiorentina #ACFFiorentina #UECL pic.twitter.com/g1UbXdvner
— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) May 18, 2023
The Europa Conference League final, meanwhile, will be between West Ham, who claimed a 3-1 aggregate win over AZ Alkmaar, and Fiorentina.
The Italians lost the first leg 2-1 at home to Basel but won 3-1 on the night thanks to Antonin Barak’s goal deep into stoppage time at the end of extra-time.
Nicolas Gonzalez had earlier scored twice for Fiorentina either side of an equaliser from Zeki Amdouni.