Creative Soccer Culture

Framed #217: Sevilla v Roma

It was a European Cup final, and the stage was set for Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma to go head-to-head with Europa League specialists, Sevilla in Budapest’s Puskas Arena, and we were on hand to offer another perspective on proceedings for the latest ‘Framed’ instalment.

It was billed as the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object (in our heads, at least), as Sevilla, who have never lost a European cup final, came up against AS Roma, led by Jose Mourinho, who had also never lost a European final in his managerial career. Something had to give, and if you’re sharp you will have picked up on our use of past and present tense, indicating that Sevilla triumphed on the night, bringing an end to Mourinho’s run. That or you could’ve just already watched the match. Or the highlights. Or seen it on a news site. But if you didn’t do any of those things and you’re coming into this instalment of Framed unspoilt, then, that’s where our cunning use of past and present tense really comes into effect.

Anyway, the match was always going to be huge, purely for the occasion and the fact it was a European cup final. For Roma, it was the chance to add to last season’s Europa Conference triumph, while for Sevilla it was an opportunity to extend their incredible record of victories in this competition to seven. It also offered both sides a route into the Champions League, after faltering domestic campaigns saw both outside of the automatic league qualification positions. All to play for in the impressive Puskás Aréna then.

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The atmosphere didn’t disappoint and it was a fiery affair on the pitch. How there were no red cards shown is still a mystery, with 13 yellow cards being brandished, and that was just to the players. Lost count of the number of coaches and staff who received cautions, though Mourinho was certainly amongst them, and by the end English referee Anthony Taylor and fourth official Michael Oliver fully deserved their medals.

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In terms of the match itself, away from all the antics, Roma took the lead in the first half through Paolo Dybala's placed opener, with Sevilla offering little in response. But an equaliser via an own goal from Roma's Gianluca Mancini was just reward for them following a dominant second-half display. A further 30 minutes of Extra Time was still not enough to separate the sides, and so the final was decided by penalties, with the Spanish side holding their nerve.

It’s an achievement that’s even more remarkable considering manager Jose Luis Mendilibar was appointed in mid march to help the side avoid relegation from La Liga. Now he has a European title, achieved in just his sixth European match as a manager, while Sevilla have the impressive record of having won every Uefa Cup/Europa League final they have featured in.

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Photography by Giacomo Cosua for Soccerbible.

Daniel Jones

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