- -SEVILLA WIN THE EUROPA LEAGUE! Sevilla win 4-2 on penalties. Gameiro smashes his penalty home! The Bela Guttmann curse goes on.
- -GOAL! Benfica 2-3 Sevilla. Luisao must score. He does score. Benfica are alive. Just.
- -GOAL! Benfica 1-3 Sevilla. Coke booms his penalty into the net!
- -SAVE! Rodrigo stutters in his run-up and Beto saves again! Why the slow motion run up?
- -GOAL! Benfica 1-2 Sevilla. M'Bia fires Sevilla ahead!
- -SAVE! Cardozo will take Benfica's second. Left-footed... Hesistation... Saved by Beto down to his right!
- -GOAL! Benfica 1-1 Sevilla. Bacca crashes his effort into the roof of the net.
- -GOAL! Benfica 1-0 Sevilla. Lima first up for the Portuguese champions. Rifled into the bottom corner.
- -It will be Benfica take first at the Sevilla end.
- -Rakitic and Luisao meet on halfway for the coin flip as their respective team-mates huddle together.
- -Forget your bedtime and that early morning meeting. You’re committed now.
- 122'An enthralling 120 minutes comes to an end. What a final. We're heading to penalties.
- 121'Gameiro latches onto Rakitic's cut-back. Offside. Sixty seconds of added time remaining. There's about 12 players down though, receiving attention for cramp.
- 120'Into the final minute. Will we have late drama? Rakitic hammers clear. No one gives chase. Two minutes of added time signalled.
- 119'The Sevilla bench signal frantically to their fans. Instant response. Mind you, the Benfica contingent are bellowing too.
- Benfica Substitution
- 118'It will be Cavaleiro. Off comes the weary Gaitan.
- 117'Lima sends a cross into the penalty area. Away by Fazio. Throw to Benfica in a very dangerous position.
- 116'Jorge Jesus consults his staff over his final substitution. Time for Ivan Cavaleiro?
- 115'Benfica have the chance to snatch victory with five minutes remaining but Gomes hits a shot over the bar.
- 114'Walking wounded all over the park. Seems that everyone is suffering from cramp.
- 113'Rodrigo flights a pass into Lima but it's just a little too high. The nail-biting in the stands does not make pleasant viewing.
- 112'Rakitic's pacy free-kick is claimed by the excellent reach of Oblak.
- 111'Final change for Sevilla as Vitolo hobbles off. Diogo Figueiras joins the action.
- Sevilla Substitution
- 110'Gameiro has options in the middle but decides to have a go himself. Ooohhh, desperately close - into the side-netting.
- 109'Pereira launches a cross into the penatly area. Headed clear. Some of the defending tonight has been incredible.
- 108'Almeida runs into Coke on the touchline and concedes a free-kick. It's all a bit jaded. Both teams have one substitution left.
- 107'Carrico's tired pass is pounced upon by the red shirts but his blushes are spared as Gomes whacks the ball into the stands.
- 106'Fifteen minutes for someone to become a hero; 15 minutes until the dreaded shootout.
- 105'Half-time in extra-time. Still no breakthrough.
- Sevilla Substitution
- 104'Cardozo has a chance to fling a cross into the mixer but the new arrival gets too much on it and the ball flies out of play.
- 103'Well, this is interesting. Marin, the substitute, is taken off for Kevin Gameiro. Think the Chelsea loanee is injured.
- 102'Looks like Almeida has also picked up a booking.
- 101'Rakitic plays an outrageous pass to Bocca on the right wing. The forward cuts inside and drives at Oblak's goal before sending a shot narrowly past the post. What. A. Pass; What. A. Miss.
- 100'It's Lima... It hits Beto and flies clear! Benfica well on top now.
- 99'Here comes Oscar Cardozo, who immediately charges over to the set-piece to assert himself. Siqueira makes way.
- Benfica Substitution
- 98'Hmmm. The referee waits, and pauses a bit more, before awarding another free-kick on the edge of the penalty area. Coke goes into the book.
- 97'Rodrigo wriggles through a couple of challenges before winning a free-kick. It's whipped in towards Garay but he can't steer a header at goal.
- 96'Luisao hoists the ball clear under pressure from Bacca. The Benfica man has been immense tonight.
- 95'Here's a picture from tonight's encounter.
- 94'Unsurprisingly, both men's facial expressions did not represent their actual injuries. Both are happily gliding around the pitch minutes later.
- 93'Lengthy stoppage as M'bia receives treatment for a leg injury and a poorly nose.
- 92'M'bia and Gomes collide on the edge of the Sevilla box. Both men look in agony.
- 91'Can anyone find a winner in extra time? We're about to find out... More of the same please, chaps.
- 90+3'The referee brings the contest to a halt. We’re going the distance. Has there been a better goalless half of football this season?
- 90+2'Again, it breaks to Garay who sees an effort fizz over the crossbar!
- 90+1'Stephane M'bia heads behind. Benfica have a corner. Is this their moment?
- 90'Amorim drives a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Deflected. It pinballs around the box. Sevilla survive.
- 89'Jorge Jesus enthusiastically smashes his palms together, trying to conjure up one final effort from his troops in normal time.
- 88'You just get the feeling that Sevilla want the full-time whistle. The opposition fans respond with another round of "Benfica, Benfica, Benfica".
- 87'The boisterous chants from the stands have been replaced by noisy nerves.
- 86'Remember: in 2013, Branislav Ivanovic arrived at the death to crush Benfica in the 2013 edition of the Europa League final. Surely it can't happen again?
- 85'Rodrigo pumps a cross into the penalty area, Beto comes and doesn't make it, but Garay can't head into the gaping net from a tight angle.
- 84'Lima cuts inside, spots the keeper marginally off his line, and blasts a shot at goal from 30 yards. Great save from Beto.
- 83'Lima and Pareja engage in a spot of handbags. Fair enough, given what's at stake.
- 82'Siqueira floats a cross towards Rodrigo, who theatrically flings himself to the deck under limited contact.
- 81'A breakdown in communication between Gaitan and Lima affords Beto the chance to gather.
- 80'Lima beats his man but, instead of shooting, elects to pass to Rodrigo who fires into a defender.
- 79'How are your nerves, lads? We're getting to that point where one moment of sorcery - or one mistake - will decide this contest.
- Sevilla Substitution
- 78'First change for Sevilla: Marko Marin - on loan from Chelsea - comes on for Reyes.
- 77'Vitolo skips past Ruben Amorim. Can he pick out a white shirt? Answer: he can't.
- 76'It falls nicely for Garay but the defender lashes at it instinctively and his effort flies well wide.
- 75'15 minutes to go and Benfica have a free-kick in a tasty position, midway inside the Sevilla half.
- 74'Pareja puts in a cracking challenge on a weary Lima. Imagine we'll be seeing a few substitutions soon.
- 73'The Europa League final pendulum swings again. Now it's Benfica's turn to pour forward.
- 72'Fazio charges forward from right-back but his delivery is a little too close to Oblak.
- 71'Lima swings his foot... The Benfica fans lean forward expectantly... The ball strikes Lima on the shin. Horrible effort. Another big chance goes begging.
- 70'Such a pity. Still, those that are here are doing a fine job.
- 69'Rakitic is pulling the strings in the middle of the park. Surely he’s destined for a summer move to one of Europe’s major forces?
- 68'Despite the lack of tickets available to genuine fans, the atmosphere is phenomenal.
- 67'Sevilla are certainly on top as the game creeps in to the last quarter (or not, if we get extra time).
- 66'And it's Carrico who causes havoc inside the area again, but he can't divert his header into the danger zone.
- 65'Daniel Carrico attempts an ambitious bicycle-kick... Blocked!
- 64'Almeida is adjudged to have commited an infrigement. Chance for Sevilla to swing it into the mixer.
- 63'Finally a chance to catch our breath as Oblak receives treatment.
- 62'CHANCE FOR SEVILLA! Reyes pops up in space but his effort is saved by Oblak. What an opportunity!
- 61'IT'S END-TO-END IN TURIN! First, two Benfica defenders somehow marshal the entire Sevilla attack and then, down the other end, the Portuguese giants are claiming for another penalty after Moreno slides in. Great tackle. This is so good.
- 60'PENALTY SHOUT NUMBER THREE! Benfica want a spot-kick for handball. The referee and his crew aren't interested.
- 59'Benfica burst forward with numbers. Fazio intercepts a pass and almost inadvertently turns it past his own keeper. Corner.
- 58'Andre Gomes wins back possession inside the Sevilla half. He can't get the ball out of his feet in time, though, and the Liga side win it back.
- 57'Gaitan smashes one from distance but Beto drops to his left to save and hold.
- 56'ANOTHER PENALTY SHOUT! Moreno catches Lima inside the penalty area after miscontrolling a long ball. Again, no penalty.
- 55'Reyes drives a shot towards goal from distance which Oblak palms into the ground and gathers. It's really opening out.
- 54'Gloriously calm play from Beto who nonchalantly prods the ball to his centre-back under pressure from a red shirt.
- 53'Luisao is a busy man at the moment. The Benfica defender plays safe and diverts a dangerous looking through ball out of play.
- 52'Rakitic scoops the ball into the direction of Reyes. The former Arsenal man can't find the bottom corner under pressure from Luisao. The game has come alive!
- 51'Jorge Jesus will be delighted with how his side have started the second half. They look far more confident in possession.
- 50'It was Nicolas Parejo who cleared the ball off the line. Top defending.
- 49'CHANCES GALORE! Benfica break at pace, and it finds its way to Lima on the inside-left channel. His shot is hacked off the line and sparks a crazy 20 seconds as Sevilla hurl their bodies on the line as Rodrigo and Lima blast shots into towards goal. Somehow, the Liga side survive.
- 48'Garay and Luisao combine to see out a Sevilla attack. Corner to the Spaniards.
- 47'Rodrigo tries to release Pereira down the right flank but he overhits his pass.
- 46'Here we go. Half number two is up and running.
- 45+3'The first-half exploded into life shortly before the referee's whistle. It's all square at the break.
- 45+3'CONTROVERSY! Gaitan goes down inside the penalty area. Felix Brych's decision? Goal-kick. Benfica are furious.
- 45+2'AND ANOTHER CHANCE! Rodrigo crashes an effort at goal from 15 yards. Beto beats it clear.
- 45+1'CHANCE! Maxi Pereira is all alone in the centre, six yards from goal, but he can't poke the ball past Beto.
- 45'Two minutes of added time at the end of the first-half.
- 44'Interested in Jose Antonio Reyes? Good. Here's a snippet of his football life.
- 43'Reyes tries to latch onto a long ball. He’s inches away from plucking it out the sky.
- 42'"Benfica, Benfica, Benfica" sounds out from their end of the ground. They're quickly drowned out by their Sevilla counterparts though.
- 41'Luisao heads the corner over the crossbar. Benfica just starting to grow into this contest.
- 40'Rodrigo pops up in acres of space on the inside-right channel. Can he beat his marker? Nope. Cleared for a corner.
- 39'Bacca takes a tumble inside the penalty area but the referee decides there was no infringement.
- 38'Sevilla earn their second corner of the night. Rakitic wanders over gingerly, pauses, and decides to adjust his shinpad. The Benfica fans are not happy.
- 37'...It breaks to Moreno who cuts onto his left foot and curls an effort into the gloves of Oblak.
- 36'It's cleared and Sevilla break at pace...
- 35'Now then. Benfica force a free-kick inside the Sevilla half. The big lads trot forward from the back...
- 34'Stat fans, this is for you.
- 33'Benfica can't settle at the moment. Aside from a half-chance for Garay, they've not been much of an attacking force.
- 32'Rakitic tries to flick the ball into the path of Jose Antonio Reyes. Doesn't quite come enough. Benfica are there for the taking at the moment.
- 31'Just before that, Rakitic attempted an audacious shot from inside the centre-circle but it travelled high and wide.
- 30'Guilherme Siqueira goes into the book for a naughty challenge. It's getting heated...
- 29'Jan Oblak displays remarkable composure to lob a pass to a team-mate under immense pressure.
- 28'Cool photo, Sam.
- 27'It starting to become a little bit gritty. A goal would be nice.
- 26'Rakitic unleashes a shot from edge of the penalty area. Blocked.
- 25'Almeida involved immediately as he saunters down the right wing. Unfortunately, he inadvertently ran the ball out of play on his quest to reach the corner flag.
- Benfica Substitution
- 24'Those two dirty challenges have ended Sulejmani’s night. Jorge Jesus sends on Andre Almeida.
- 23'Are we heading for a time when only businesses are handed tickets for major events?
- 22'Nicolas Gaitan attempts to weave through the heart of the opposition defence. Access denied by a couple of robust challenges.
- 21'The Benfica fans belatedly get involved and start whistling another lengthy spell of Sevilla kee-ball.
- 20'Lima tries to feed Sulejmani, but his team-mate is spared being fouled for a third time due to a disappointing pass.
- 19'Sevilla bossing possession. They've just shaded the opening 20 minutes.
- 18'Sad to see a few empty seats dotted around the stadium. Looks like those corporate areas. Shame.
- 17'Amorim has a crack from distance. One lucky spectator is going home with the match ball.
- 16'Tremendous atmosphere inside the Juventus Stadium. The Sevilla fans currently on course for the coveted ‘Battle of the Fans’ award.
- 15'It's whipped in towards Garay... Sevilla hack clear.
- 14'The resulting free-kick breaks to Ezequiel Garay at the backpost, but the in-demand defender can't adjust his feet in time. Still, he does enough to win a corner.
- 13'Don't worry, everyone. The ice-pack is out and being rubbed gently across Sulejmani's brow.
- 12'Terrible challenge from Alberto Moreno! The defender launches himself - two-footed - into Sulejmani. Sulejmani had barely picked himself up after the last challenge, poor chap.
- 11'First booking of the match: Federico Fazio earns a yellow card for a wild swing on Miralem Sulejmani.
- 10'Slight stoppage as Siqueira receives treatment. Entertaining start in Turin.
- 9'Rakitic bursts forward from midfield, glides past three opponents and feeds a team-mate. It breaks to Bacca in the middle but he can't quite bring the ball under his spell. Think the flag was up anyway.
- 8'And a few jitters from Sevilla too. Rakitic booms a crossfield pass out of play.
- 7'Ivan Rakitic swings the corner into the mixer but Benfica clear. Few early nerves from the Portuguese bunch. To be expected, of course.
- 6'Guilherme Siqueira hurls himself into a sliding tackle to make a crucial interception inside his own penalty area. Corner to Sevilla.
- 5'The Sevilla players watch on forlornly as the referee awards Benfica another throw. Fortunately for the Spaniards, it comes to nothing.
- 4'The Portuguese fans erupt as Lima forces a mini-mistake from Sevilla stopper Beto.
- 3'Big news: we've had our first offside. Carlos Bacca is denied by the linesman's flag.
- 2'Benfica's Maxi Pereira is bundled to the floor. The Sevilla contingent are charging around the pitch in the opening moments.
- 1'The Juventus Stadium is awash with white and red. Felix Brych, tonight’s referee, gives a shrill blow of his whistle and we’re underway in Turin!
- 19:40Prediction time, folks. Sevilla or Benfica? Free-flowing football or a war of attrition? Hearty handshake between Unai Emery and Jorge Jesus or the mother of all touchline bust-ups? Well, whatever your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via Twitter. Simply type @BenSnowball into your tweet and then mutter a prayer to the football gods to ensure your words get air-time.
- 19:35Our man Arsene Wenger (sorry, Arsenal fans – he’s sort of yours too) believes Benfica will triumph. Here are his thoughts.Why Benfica are favourites to take Europa League glory
It is advantage Benfica, writes Arsene Wenger, but European finals are like national finals, so anything can happen. But if I had to bet, I’d bet on Benfica. Continue reading →
- 19:301963: Defeat. 1965: Defeat. 1968: Defeat. 1983: Defeat. 1988: Defeat. 1990: Defeat. 2013: Defeat. Seven finals since Guttmann cast his curse. Seven defeats. But as the famous saying goes: eighth time lucky… If Benfica can indeed rewrite history tonight then they would stay on course for an unprecedented quadruple (they have two trophies in the bag already).
- 19:25And the red of Benfica. Fashion rating: 9/10 (this kit could prove a real collector’s item in years to come).
- 19:20Now onto important matters: the team strips. First, the white of Sevilla. Fashion rating: 4/10 (looks too much like an old-fashioned school vest is trying to break free from underneath).
- 19:15Will the 2014 Europa League final be remembered for the performance of a certain Ivan Rakitic? He might have uttered: “I don't care about being the hero, there's no point in talking about heroes,” in the pre-match build-up, but you can bet the lad wants nothing more to bag the winning goal tonight. And it may well be the Croatian midfielder’s penultimate appearance in a Sevilla shirt as Europe’s top clubs get ready to pounce in the summer.
- 19:10Benfica’s semi-final was equally exciting as the Portuguese champions played out one of the greatest goalless draws in European history to book a final spot at the expense of tournament favourites Juventus. Again, refresh your mind by taking a little trip to the link below…Europa League - Heroic defending sees Benfica eliminate Juve and reach final
Ten-man Benfica stayed on course for their first European trophy in 52 years with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Juventus.
- 19:05Sevilla stunned fellow Spaniards Valencia with a dramatic late goal to snatch a spot in tonight’s final. Read how the action unfolded here...Europa League - Sevilla through to final after dramatic goal against Valencia
Sevilla reached the Europa League final after beating Valencia on away goals despite losing 3-1 on the night at the Mestalla.
- 19:00And the words of Jorge Jesus: "We have already won things and now we have a chance to win again. We are concentrated and confident that we can win. Our experience in finals has an emotional effect on you. It is not a problem but it is not an advantage either. But it has given us greater assuredness and calm this time around. We will be facing a strong opponent with history. It will be a hard-fought match and I don't see any favourites."
- 18:55Here is Unai Emery’s longwinded way of saying he believes his side can win: "This is the final challenge we face. We need to face it and take it on. We respect our opponent and what is for certain is that we are both deserving finalists. In fairness, the big favourites were Juventus and Benfica eliminated them. Therefore, they could feel that they are the favourites but that doesn't mean we don't think we can beat them. We respect that they could be seen as favourites."
- 18:50TEAMS – Sevilla: Beto, Fazio, Carriço, Moreno, Pareja, Coke, Mbia, Rakitic, Vitolo, Bacca, Reyes… Subs: Varas, Navarro, Figueiras, Marin, Iborra, Trochowski, Gameiro /// Benfica: Oblak, Maxi, Garay, Luisao, Siqueira, Amorim, Andre Gomes, Gaitan, Sulejmani, Rodrigo, Lima… Subs: Artur, Vitoria, Cardozo, Djuricic, Jardel, Almeida, Cavaleiro.
- 18:45It was 1962. The world stood on the brink of nuclear war, book nerds were dipping into Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and nightclub revellers were busting some questionable shapes to the soon-to-be timeless anthem ‘Hey Baby’. Oh, and Bela Guttmann uttered the chilling words: “Not in 100 years will Benfica win a European Cup”. Fifty-two years on, Benfica have the chance to finally consign those words to myth. Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Europa League final between Sevilla and Benfica.
|Team Manager:||Unai Emery|
|Team Manager:||Jorge Jesus|