Featured Photo Caption:AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho celebrates after qualifying for the UEFA Europa League final. | PHOTO: Goal |
- AS Roma visited Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final
- Roma headed into the match with a 1-0 advantage having won the first leg in Rome last week
- A goalless draw from a typical Mourinho defence ensured Roma are in the second European final in two years
Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma will face Sevilla, the perennial champions of the UEFA Europa League, in the final in Budapest in two weeks. Roma successfully defended their 1-0 lead from the first leg against Bayer Leverkusen, securing the goalless draw they needed. Sevilla, on the other hand, defeated Juventus 2-1 after extra time.
Despite Leverkusen’s determined efforts to level the aggregate score, Roma expertly denied them clear scoring opportunities. The closest Leverkusen came to scoring was Moussa Diaby’s powerful shot in the 12th minute, which hit the crossbar. Sardar Azmoun’s close-range effort for Leverkusen went narrowly wide late in the game. Roma showcased a Mourinho masterclass in the second half, effectively stifling their opponents’ attacks.
Roma aims to win consecutive European titles following their triumph in the Europa Conference League last season. In an exhilarating match in Seville, Erik Lamela’s header in the fifth minute of extra time decided the outcome.
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Moise Kean hit the post for Juventus in the first half, but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made several crucial saves, including an impressive one to deny Lucas Ocampos.
Dusan Vlahovic, who came off the bench, gave Juventus the lead in the 65th minute, but Suso, another substitute, equalized with a stunning strike just six minutes later.
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Sevilla thought they had won the game in normal time, but Szczesny produced another brilliant save to deny Youssef En-Nesyri’s header. However, Lamela’s header from Bryan Gil’s cross found the bottom corner, securing victory for Sevilla. Despite Marcos Acuna receiving a second yellow card for time-wasting, Sevilla held on to reach their seventh final in 18 years, aiming to maintain their perfect record.
In the Europa Conference League final, West Ham, who secured a 3-1 aggregate win over AZ Alkmaar, will face Fiorentina. Fiorentina lost the first leg 2-1 at home to Basel but managed to win 3-1 in the second leg, thanks to Antonin Barak’s stoppage-time goal in extra time. Nicolas Gonzalez scored twice for Fiorentina, with Zeki Amdouni equalizing for Basel in between.