It was always a difficult task to take on Spain’s Sevilla in the Europa League final because they’re an outfit that has made winning the competition their own in recent years. However, with Jose Mourinho’s record in European Cup finals, many believed Roma could go on and do it. Unfortunately for the Italians, they went close but came up short in the end.
When iconic Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho joined Seria A’s Roma, he insisted that he would move the club forward and that progression would be there for all to see. And you could argue that what he promised is already coming to fruition, with the team finishing the 2021/22 campaign in 6th, collecting the Europa Conference League trophy on the way.
In 2022/23, Roma again finished in sixth, interestingly with the same amount of points as last season, sixty-three. But Mourinho had his eyes on going one better in Europe, with the Europa League trophy on his mind. Booking a place in the final was an achievement in itself, and in these types of games, football match betting draws massive interest, especially with iconic characters like Mourhino being involved, and this is arguably what he hoped would carry Roma through their toughest challenge.
In a game that was marred with controversy during and after, Roma managed to take the lead through Paulo Dybala just after the half-hour mark. But Gianluca Mancini, who had registered an assist for Dybala’s opener, diverted Jesus Navas’ cross into his own net to bring Sevilla level and back into the tie. Many felt the two sides would struggle to be separated, and this proved to be the case, with a penalty shootout going on to decide the result.
While Sevilla’s spot-kick takers all scored, Lucas Ocampos, Erik Lamela, Ivan Rakitic and Gonzalo Montiel, only Bryan Cristante was on target for the Italians, with Mancini and Roger Ibanez both missing. The Spaniards were Europa League champions once again, with Roma’s season ending in disappointment after going close to securing their second European trophy in as many years.
After what some will describe as another year of progress under Mourinho, with another European journey ending in a final, many are keen to see the Portuguese manager remain at the helm for at least twelve months. However, there is talk that there could be a parting of ways, with Mourinho reportedly unhappy at the direction the club is moving in, as he remains determined to fight for titles and trophies.
For now, the combustible Mourinho remains in the hot seat, and he could very well mount another assault on European football next season if he gets the backing he’s looking for. But, with Roma apparently open to selling some of their key players, England striker Tammy Abraham being one of them, their near miss in the Europa League final against Sevilla could yet be seen as a bigger achievement than it currently is.