The 2023 edition of the UEFA Europa League final will be contested by Sevilla and Roma after both prevailed in semi-final ties on Thursday night.
Sevilla are already the record winners in the competition’s history, lifting the trophy on no fewer than six occasions (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020) and are going for a seventh triumph.
Roma, meanwhile, last won it way back in 1961 when it was known as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – a predecessor to what eventually became the UEFA Cup and then the Europa League. They are, however, the current Europa Conference League holders.
Sevilla started this season in the Champions League but dropped down after the group stage. They have since knocked out PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahce Manchester United and Juventus.
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The semi-final against Juve was eventually decided in extra-time. The first leg had finished 1-1 after a 97th minute equaliser from Federico Gatti in Turin. The return fixture in Spain was also 1-1 after 90 minutes, forcing extra-time, during which Erik Lamela scored an early header to win it.
Roma completed the ultimate ‘park the bus’ mission to get through to the final. Jose Mourinho’s side held a 1-0 aggregate lead heading to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen and set about keeping it. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s wayward shot after two minutes was their only effort of the whole game, compared to 15 attempts from Leverkusen and eight other blocked shots.
As well as being a two-time Champions League winning manager, Mourinho has won this competiton twice before too – as Porto boss in 2003 and with Manchester United in 2017.
This season’s Europa League final will take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on 31 May 2023. It is the first of the three UEFA finals to be played, with the Europa Conference League final between West Ham and Fiorentina scheduled for 7 June and the Champions League final that will see Manchester City take on Inter to be played three days after that on 10 June.