Sevilla defeat Benfica 4-2 on penalties to win the 2013/14 Europa League; Benfica continue 52-year barren run in Europe
Sevilla defeated Benfica 4-2 on penalties in the finals of the Europa League to win the 2013/14 Europa League. This is the 3rd time since 2005 that Sevilla have won the Europa League. Incidentally, the last time the finals went to penalties, the winners were Sevilla.
Benfica had the better of the chances and the possession, and yet now have the unwanted record of having lost in their last 8 European Finals, all since 1962, a period of 52 years. And so the curse of Bela Guttman raises its head once more!
In a game that was up and down all through, Benfica had to withstand an early onslaught by Sevilla, as they had to defend to for the first 15 to 20 mins. Sevilla were looking for any opportunity to release Rakitic who was trying to play in balls for Bacca and Reyes as soon as he got on the ball. Miralem Sulejmani was victim to a couple of heavy challenges from Moreno and Fazio, following which he was substituted due to a shoulder injury on 25 minutes.
That did not deter Benfica as they still dominated the remainder of the first half, with attempts on goal from Rodrigo, Maxi Perreira and Nico Gaitan, all of which came up as a result of mistakes committed by the Sevilla back line. All Sevilla had to show for the first half was a curling shot on the counter from their left back Alberto Moreno and a Bacca attempt which went wide.
The second half started in much the same vein, as Pareja made two crucial last ditch blocks to deny both Lima and Rodrigo and kept the scores tied at 0-0. Rakitic was instrumental for Sevilla in the second half, as he set up Jose Antonio Reyes for 2 chances, both of which the ex-Arsenal midfielder coudln’t convert.
Benfica continued to press for a goal, but were visibly nervy and lost their edge in front of goal. Bacca had a glorious chance to win the game for Sevilla in extra time, but put his effort wide.
The penalty shoot out saw Sevilla scoring all of their attempts through Bacca, Mbia, Coke and Gameiro while only Lima and Luizao converted their attempts for Benfica. Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo both missed their attempts, and the curse of Bela Guttman continued to haunt Benfica, despite them having Jesus (Jorge) on their side.