An exciting, back and forth Europa League final was played out in Warsaw between Dnipro and Sevilla, with the Spanish side claiming a 3-2 victory to make it back-to-back Europa League titles and book a place in the 2015/16 Champions League. Inside Spanish Football’s Tom Conn has the match report and reaction from Warsaw.
Dnipro Dnipropretrovsk shocked the world when Nikola Kalinic scored just seven minutes into the match, turning things in their favour against the reigning champions.
However, Sevilla were far from fazed by the early goal and quickly took control with hometown hero Grzegorz Krychowiak scoring the equaliser in the 28th minute before Carlos Bacca followed that up with a goal of his own thanks to a splendid assist from Jose Antonio Reyes at the 31 minute mark to put the Andalusians in the driver’s seat.
Dnipro has seen this type of situation before and calmly waited for their next chance to equalise, which came right before half-time when the captain Ruslan Rotan leveled the score as the two sides ended a thrilling start to the Europa League final.
The Dnipro goal was assaulted by Sevilla’s attack in the first half and Unai Emery’s men were hoping to maintain momentum and pour in a few more goals for a decisive win.
Dnipro held strong as Sevilla continued their attack in the second 45, the Cinderella Dnipro however, were not strong enough and a strike by Carlos Bacca in the 73rd minute sealed their fate and ended a brilliant and historic run by the Ukrainian side.
Under the guidance of Unai Emery and the work of sporting director Monchi, Sevilla have been brought back from the dead and have become one of the most successful Spanish clubs in the last decade.
Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca was brought to tears after his two goals in the over Dnipro and the Colombian feels that it was a very unique and special moment for him and the club.
In his post-match interivew, Bacca, who just five years ago was a bus driver’s assistant and a fisherman in Colombia, was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation and was basking in the euphoria of what his team had accomplished.
“I’m very happy with the title win, it was our goal. I dedicate it to God, to everyone in Colombia, my family and my wife. This is something special. I want to enjoy this moment. My two goals helped but the most important thing is that the team won the title.”
Bacca ends his 2014-15 Europa League campaign with a total of seven goals scored, just two behind Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano, who scored eight goals for Red Bull Salzburg this season.
Wednesday’s Europa League title win gives the Colombian his second major trophy with Sevilla but questions will linger over the summer about whether the striker will be at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to play in the Champions League next season.
There are question marks around manager Unai Emery too, but the Spaniard dismissed speculation he will be leaving in the summer and insists he’s happy at the Andalusian club while also expressing his delight at the victory.
“The Sevillismo loves this competition. There have been many finals, today was the latest against a very physical and strong team. All of the joy comes down to the hard work we did.”
Emery went on to add that the game was very even but they spoke at half-time and decided to give their all and got the positive result they deserved.
“We faced a lot of difficulties like we always do. At the break, we spoke and decided that we needed to remain calm because we had the advantage in defence and in the attack. This group deserves this.”
Emery concluded by discussing the rumours that he could leave the club this summer, but the Basque coach insists that he is happy in Sevilla and fully intends to lead the club in their first Champions League campaign in six years.
“Getting to the Champions League was the most important, now that we’ve achieved that we have to really enjoy it. I’m very happy here.”
Emery has been heavily linked with a move to AC Milan or Real Madrid this summer, but has insisted that he will remain in Seville next season, much to the delight of the fans.
Dnipro Dnipropretrovsk 2-3 Sevilla
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Sevilla XI: Rico; Aleix Vidal, Carriço, Kolodziejczak, Trémoulinas; Mbia, Krychowiak; Reyes (58′), Banega (89′), Vitolo; Bacca (82′)
Subs: Coke (58′) Gameiro (82′), Iborra (89′)
Goals: Krychowiak (28′), Bacca (31′, 73′)
Yellow Cards: Krychowiak (45′), Carriço (62′), Bacca (74′)
Dnipro XI: Boyko, Douglas, Cheberyachko, Fedetskyi, Rotan, Fedorchuk (68′), Matos, Kankava (85′), Konoplyanka, Matheus, Kalinic (78′)
Subs: Bezus (68′), Seleznyov (78′), Shakhov (85′)
Goals: Kalinic (7′), Rotan (44′)
Yellow Cards: Kankava (17′), Kalinic (45′), Rotan (75′), Matos (83′)
This content originally appeared on Inside Spanish Football.