Sevilla were crowned UEFA Europa League Champions for un unprecedented third time in succession after coming back from a goal down to defeat Liverpool 3-1 at St. Jakob Park in Basel. A peach of a goal from Daniel Sturridge gave Liverpool a half-time lead, but Sevilla stormed back in the second half through a goal from Gameiro and a brace from Coke to become Europa League champions.
Spanish clubs dominance of European football continued, but there were plenty of talking points from the game that could have resulted in Liverpool reversing this trend.
Here’s how the managers, players and pundits reacted:
Sevilla FC manager Unai Emery:
Emery revealed his pleasure with the win but is already looking forward, saying “It's a unique satisfaction. Now we have to enjoy it, knowing that we have another final on Sunday. The team - and Sevilla - deserve this. The Europa League has given us a lot. I said that we had to enjoy the final, and to enjoy it doubly if we could win it.”
Emery touched on Sevilla’s awful away record and noted that asking his players to play as if at home resulted in the turnaround, saying “We organised our minds at the break and we knew why we had reached this stage. We had to remember that the neutral pitch was the Sanchez Pizjuan, that we were in Seville. And the team took off.”
“We had to go forward. We had to be ourselves. Liverpool are a great team and with the goal their belief began to grow. But this also happens with us. With the equaliser, we felt strong, we were confident.”
Sevilla defender Daniel Carrico:
The defender dedicated the win to Antonio Puerta, who died aged 22 while playing for Sevilla against Getafe in 2007, saying “It is three seasons in a row now and it is our competition. We have won and we have a star up there called Antonio Puerta, he gives us a push when things get tough.”
Sevilla captain Coke:
Coke scored the goals that won Sevilla the trophy but credited the fans, saying “I want to thank the team we have and all the people who have spent money to come here and who kill for Sevilla. Every person who came here is worth three or four. I want them to enjoy it. It was a very special week and it's impossible to start it in the best way. We have a whole city behind us.”
“The important thing is that we win. We've had an amazing season and now we have another final.”
Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro:
The French forward dedicated the win to the fans while also quashing rumours of a move away, saying “I am glad I've kept scoring here. We have wonderful people and supporters. This is historic. I love Sevilla and I am very happy. The fans are great and this win is dedicated to them. It is a magical night, I scored the goal on behalf of all of the supporters.”