Sevilla beat Benfica 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time to win the Europa League. The Andalusian club won their third European Cup as Benfica suffered a heartbreak for the second consecutive time in the same competition, last season also losing the final against Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea by 2-1.
Sevilla manager Unai Emery told Spanish media “Benfica were a just finalist like we were and it was a game where there were moments they were on top, others when we were. We have learnt to fight and cope with the difficult moments and we came out on top.”
Chances were few are hard to come by as both sides spurned opportunities within minutes, understandably as neither wanted to give an advantage to the other in what was a tense final at Turin.
Lima almost snatched a late winner with Beto’s effort just managing to sail over the crossbar. Defender Ezequiel Garay then headed agonizingly close from a floated cross.
Jorge Jesus’ side failed to keep up the momentum as Sevilla almost went ahead in extra time when captain Ivan Rakitic sent Carlos Bacca clear down the right but the Colombian fired his shot just over the bar.
In hindsight, Bela Gutmann’s curse continued as the former Benfica manager had predicted that the Portuguese side wouldn’t win a European cup after he wasn’t paid the bonuses he was promised to. The Hungarian statement isn’t exactly known but sources close to the club claim that Gutmann had said, “Not in 100 years from now will Benfica win a European Cup.” There also have been stories that the great Eusebio went to pray on his grave beforehand, asking for the curse to be removed which however didn’t help.