Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 11:43 PM• Rian Rosendaal • Last update: 23:48

Sevilla is once again in the final of the Europa League. The Spaniards, who have already won the European tournament six times, won 2-1 against Juventus in the return match in the semi-final on Thursday evening, after trailing 0-1. Erik Lamela was the great hero of Sevilla in the fifth minute of extra time. Juventus still took the lead via supersub Dusan Vlahovic, but sees the final place go up quickly. For Sevilla, a confrontation with AS Roma awaits in the final battle in the Puskás Aréna in Budapest on May 31, which settled with Bayer Leverkusen in the other semi-final.

At Sevilla, there were no fewer than eight changes against Juventus compared to last weekend’s 0-3 victory over Real Valladolid. Loïc Badé, Ivan Rakitic and Oliver Torres were the only players to keep their starting spot. Yassine Bounou returned on goal and in addition to Badé, Jesús Navas, Nemanja Gudelj and Marcos Acuña started in defense. Rakitic was assisted in midfield by Fernando. Torres had to create a danger in the front, together with Lucas Ocampos, Bryan Gil and Younes En-Nesyri.

On the Juventus side, there were five changes compared to Sunday’s 2-0 win over Cremonese. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny returned under the crossbar and the defense was formed by Federico Gatti, Bremer and Danilo. Trainer Massimiliano Allegri opted for a five-man midfield: Juan Cuadrado, Nicolò Fagioli, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and Samuel Iling Junior. Ángel Di María started shortly behind deepest striker Moise Kean. Federico Chiesa, Vlahovic, Leandro Paredes and Mattia Perin were referred to the bench. Paul Pogba was missing from the match selection due to injury.

Gatti, responsible for the 1-1 in injury time last week, could have given Juventus the perfect start after fifteen minutes. The alert Bounou, however, managed to whip his effort from the bottom corner. On the other hand, Szczesny kept Lucas Ocampos from scoring with a nice save. The game was quite up and down before the break and chances arose for both goals. Di María and Kean were unable to give Juventus the lead and Ocampos failed to produce the opening goal on behalf of Sevilla. Shortly before the half-time signal, Fagioli pulled out injured and Paredes had to replace him.

In the second half, both semi-finalists gave each other little. Juventus tried via Rabiot and Sevilla created danger with bets from Gil, Badé and Rakitic, among others. After more than an hour of play, Vlahovic relieved Kean and that turned out to be a golden move by Allegri. The substitute signed a minute after his entrance with a viewed marker over Bounou for Juventus’ 0-1. Great joy among the Italians, although the euphoria was short-lived. The substitute Suso hit the ball from outside the box in the top left corner: 1-1. Sevilla got the spirit and went on the hunt for the winning goal in regulation time. That didn’t happen, despite good chances for Suso and Rakitic. The extension of thirty minutes had to offer a solution in Seville.

The home team took the lead after five minutes in extra time. Lamela knew in the penalty area with advice with a cross from Gil and the striking header from the Argentinian midfielder gave Sevilla a 2-1 lead. It was then unusually exciting, especially because Vlahovic created the necessary danger on behalf of Juventus. With the visitors, Arek Milik came within the lines for the tired Cuadrado. With five minutes left on the clock, Acuña received his second yellow card and Sevilla had to continue with ten players. In the remaining minutes, however, Juventus’ equalizer failed to materialize, so that European success beckons again for the Spanish team.