UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
SEVILLA FC vs. INTERNAZIONALE MILANO
In their first competitive meeting, Sevilla & Inter Milan take centre stage in this Europa League finale.
This mighty force we call Sevillismo has got us through the tougher half of the Europa League draw, eliminating sides like Roma, Wolves & Man United. It couldn’t be a more prestigious occasion with a storied, 3-time UEFA Cup winning Inter Milan club being the final hurdle to achieving Europa League success.
The encounter at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne will showcase an intriguing clash of styles. Tactically, there shouldn’t be any surprises as both teams are very established in their styles of play, which has aided them in reaching the final. Conte has adapted his team to be an efficient counterpuncher, and relying on their strongpoints to see out their opponents. Boasting an elite spine of De Vrij, Brozovic, Lukaku & Lautaro (LuLa), it’s hard to fathom they are even in the Europa League to begin with.
Inter ended their domestic season in 2nd, conceding the least, and scoring the 2nd highest goal tally. With possibly the most lethal striking partnership in Europe, the battle of LuLa against Kounde & Carlos will be highly anticipated. Although De Vrij is an excellent passer from the back, Lopetegui will also need to put focus on the midfield and stop the supply from Brozovic, which has helped many teams stifle the Nerazzurri.
Having already qualified for the Champions League, this tournament presented Sevilla with a gauntlet. As a precursor to next season’s European campaign, we were matched with clubs who challenged us in different ways. The manner in which each victory was achieved is a testament to how much this team has grown over the last 12 months. The threat of Džeko & Mkhitaryan brought little danger; the unstoppable freight train that is Adama Traore ran out of steam; and the effervescent front trio from Man United has seen our defence recall the numerous triumphs from this past season and secured the result.
Tonight, Julen’s men will look to dominate, as they did against Inter’s Italian counterparts Roma, by suppressing the opposition with possession, using the entire width of the pitch, searching for avenues to get in behind Inter’s defence. Both sets of fullbacks will be on full display. Inter’s 3-5-2 matches up very well against our 4-3-3, so the outcome will likely come down to individual brilliance. And who better to rely on than our own mercurial maestro Éver Maximiliano Banega?
It has been a very long season, and its curtain closer will also spell the end of a chapter for a few Sevilla players this evening, namely for Éver Banega. We all know the countless times he’s evoked both ire and jubilation amongst Sevillistas. But this last marathon run to the Europa League final feels like it’s been written. Could there ever be a better sendoff?
Banega: “We know they are very powerful but we are Sevilla FC and we are in the final for a reason."
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