Sevilla sail into Europa League final
Paris: Holders Sevilla, who crushed Fiorentina, face unheralded Ukrainians Dnipro in the Europa League final in Warsaw on May 27. The finalists progress to the Polish capital finale in wildly contrasting fashions. Sevilla, seeking a record fourth success in the competition, were firmly in the driving seat after last week’s 3-0 first leg success, and finished off Fiorentina with first half goals from Carlos Bacca and Daniel Carrico.
Dnipro, a former rocket factory side, on the other hand secured their first ever European final by grittily edging Rafa Benitez’s Napoli 1-0 in Kiev to go through 2-1 on aggregate. Napoli, the 1989 UEFA Cup winners, were the better side in the first half but Yevhen Seleznyov put paid to their Europa League dreams when heading past keeper Mariano Andujar in the 58th minute, with Yevhen Konoplyanka’s cross from the left setting up the all important goal.
Napoli will be fed up with the sight of Seleznyov as it was he who had come on as a substitute last week to snatch a vital 1-1 draw in Naples. In Florence, any hopes of a Fiorentina fightback fizzled out when Colombian striker Bacca opened the scoring for Sevilla in the 22nd minute off an Ever Banega free-kick.
Five minutes later the Italians were caught napping by another setpiece, Carrico tapping in a deflected long ball up the right. Fiorentina’s attempt at a crucial early goal would have paid off if it hadn’t been for Sevilla’s young keeper Sergio Rico superbly denying Gonzalo Rodriguez’s close range header.