A cinematic denouement took away Sevillethe king of european championshipa triumph that seemed to have been fixed and charged with uncertainty one of the semi-finals of the competition. With Marcos Acuña, Lucas Ocampos (they started), Gonzalo Montiel, Erik Lamela and Alejandro Gómez (come off the bench), the Spanish team, first winner in the history of the continental tournament, drew 1-1 away with Juventuswhich presented angel of maryin the first stage of this key that will define one of the protagonists of the decisive duel, which will be held on May 31 at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest.
The uneven pace of George Sampaoli through Seville it looks like part of prehistory. The team that landed in Turin was a much improved version of the one that had come close to relegation in the Spanish league when the little man de Casilda was kicked out of the bank a month and a half ago. His replacement, the Basque veteran José Luis Mendilibar (he is 62), his face has changed and that change has shown in the results: he has won five of his last seven matches in the domestic tournament (thereby virtually ensuring his stay) and knocked out Manchester United in the quarter-finals of Europa League.
With that momentum, the Andalusians arrived in the Piedmontese capital, where they were looking to extend their six-game winning streak against their Italian rivals in this fixture. From the very beginning they made it clear that they hadn’t gone on to speculate. With Ocampos in a state of grace, were racking up merit to reach zero. And they did so after 26 minutes, when the former River player flew down the right and assisted Youssef En-Nesyri at just the right moment. With a sharp but effective right foot, the Moroccan beat Wojciech Szczesny of Poland and blew up the elated 1,500 Sevillians who had made the expedition with his team.
The muscle injury suffered by Ocampos, man of the match up to that moment, and which forced him to leave the field eight minutes after the goal (he was replaced by Gonzalo Montiel), was the only bad news that visits received in that first chapter, which went to rest with a well-deserved lead and also poor against the Old ladywhose international laurels have withered: More than a quarter of a century has passed since the last frontier titles outside Juve (Won the Champions League, the Intercontinental Cup and the European Super Cup between May 1996 and February 1997).
In the complement, the venue came out with renewed momentum, driven above all by the young Englishman entered Samuel Iling-Junior, but the Mendilibar cast staked that first shower and was deflating his opponent. Massimiliano Allegri He called on a good part of the deck he kept on the bench and changed half the team in an instant (among those who came out there was a subdued Di María), even if without too many results.
With a waste of grit and a franciscan modesty of play, the Turinese launched themselves in search of a goal that would avoid their first home defeat in the history of the Europa League (they had won seven games and drawn seven). Sevilla held on without major jolts and seemed to have victory hanging on. But in the last manoeuvre, at the added seventh minute, three fresh men joined together to sign the parda: after Federico Chiesa’s corner from the left, Paul Pogba gave birth to a play that seemed dead and Federico Gatti he pushed the ball into the net.
The draw brought back smiles to Juve, who will have to go to Seville to face a very difficult mission against a team that is going through its most brilliant segment of a dull season and also has an incomparable historical support: the Andalusians have played six semi-finals in this match and its predecessor, the old UEFA Cup, and they’ve won them all. Not only that: in each of those editions (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020) they ended up lifting the trophy.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.