The 2023 Europa League Final saw Sevilla FC play AS Roma at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest, Hungary. There was a great atmosphere in the stadium from the Spanish and Italian fans.
After beating Manchester United in the quarter-finals and Juventus in the semi-finals, José Luis Mendilibar’s Sevilla team wanted to extend the club’s record to seven Europa League titles.
AS Roma’s route to the final included wins against Real Sociedad, Feyenoord and Bayer Leverkusen. José Mourinho’s team wanted to add to last year’s Europa Conference League win.
Roma started the match better. They were playing to their strengths with some effective longer passes and they were also winning more loose balls in midfield. Roma had the first chance of the game after ten minutes but Leonardo Spinazzola’s weak shot was easily saved by Yassine Bounou in the Sevilla goal.
The game was tense on the pitch and on the touchline. The referee and his team were under constant pressure from every direction.
In the thirty-fifth minute, Roma won possession in midfield and Gianluca Mancini passed to Paulo Dybala. The Argentinian controlled and finished calmly into the bottom-left corner. 1-0 to Roma.
Sevilla were more energetic and positive in possession after the half-time break. In the fifty-fifth minute they equalised through an own goal by Mancini after a dangerous near-post cross from Jesús Navas. The rest of the second half was similar to the first half. Lots of fouls, lots of free kicks, lots of complaining to the referee from everybody.
Sevilla thought they had a penalty but the referee changed his mind after watching replays on the pitch-side monitor, and Roma thought they deserved a penalty for a handball by Fernando, but the referee did not agree.
The ninety minutes ended in a draw and extra-time produced very little action apart from Chris Smalling hitting the crossbar with a header in the final seconds.
The game was decided on penalties and it seemed like it was Sevilla’s lucky night. Ivan Rakitić won both coin-tosses and chose for the shoot-out to be at the end of the stadium where the Sevilla fans were, and for Sevilla to take the first penalty. The pressure was on Roma.
Bono made two great saves from Roma’s Roger Ibañez and Gianluca Mancini. So Sevilla’s Gonzalo Montiel (who took Argentina’s World Cup final winning penalty) took his penalty knowing that if he scored, Sevilla would be the winners. His penalty was saved, but it was retaken because Rui Patricio had left his line. Montiel scored at the second attempt, and Sevilla were crowned Europa League champions for the seventh time in their history.