Jose Mourinho reaches his sixth European final as coach. They have won the previous five (lost three Super Cups), including two Champions League, and now they are opting for their third Europa League, a competition that they have already won with Porto and Manchester United and the one they are opposing on this occasion with Roma, who made a show off ex officio in his visit to Bayer Leverkusen to validate the minimal advantage he had obtained in the first leg. He left the Roman team, which turned the game into a minefield. The German team stepped on all of them, one after the other. No matter how much Xabi Alonso shouted on the wing or wielded tactical maneuvers, Roma was as compact as flint, stopped the fight, slowed it down, folded and even called on fortune to withstand Leverkusen’s final arreón. It all ended goalless and with an exultant Mourinho.
Hradecky, Jonathan Tah (Nadiem Amiri, min. 86), Edmond Faycial Tapsoba, Piero Hincapie Reyna, Kerem Demirbay, Jeremie Frimpong, Exequiel Palacios (Adam Hlozek, min. 80), Mitchel Bakker (Amine Adli, min. 73), Florian Wirtz, Azmoun and Moussa Diaby
Rui Patrício, Ibañez, Cristante, Gianluca Mancini, Edoardo Bove, Matic, Leonardo Spinazzola (Nicola Zalewski, min. 33), Zeki Celik (Smalling, min. 77), Lorenzo Pellegrini, Belotti (Wijnaldum, min. 45) and Tammy Abraham
Referee slavko vincic
Yellow cards Piero Hincapie Reyna (min. 47), Exequiel Palacios (min. 55), Mitchel Bakker (min. 69), Ibañez (min. 70), Cristante (min. 88), Moussa Diaby (min. 89), Edmond Faycial Tapsoba (min. 96) and Tammy Abraham (min. 98)
Bayer was always uncomfortable. He had already passed him for many minutes in Rome against a rival who did not hesitate to tie everything up, to link events and arrests of all kinds to play with the rival’s restlessness. The team led by Alonso could not let go, which sought superiority from within and found a monumental traffic jam, but above all it could not run. When there were spaces, Bayer felt that the game could be theirs. But they were barely granted. Diaby had them when before the quarter hour of the game he galloped towards the goal defended by Rui Patricio and released a monumental kick that sent the ball to the crossbar.
It was an exception. Roma no longer conceded more contras. Their goalkeeper was bothered by Demirbay with a couple of lukewarm attempts from the edge. He didn’t even need to wall off Mourinho to disable his opponent. He also did not hesitate to do so to shield himself in an epilogue in which Alonso fed the team with attackers. But Leverkusen lacks talent in the area, which changed strikers compared to the first leg. The Basque seated Hlozek and gave court to Azmoun, who is neither a talent nor does he have too much fang. He had, however, the best option to score with a shot that went a quarter off the post with ten minutes left for ninety minutes, not for the end because the referee prolonged the fight for eight minutes, which in the end was nine. It was the consequence of Roma’s plan, which stopped the duel at each clash. Bayer ended up deranged between a festival of reprimands, also for Alonso, a product of frustration.
Wijnaldum came on for Belotti at half-time. Smalling built a five-man defence, which eventually moved into a line of six or seven. Diaby and Wirtz the local talents did not find spaces. Nor did Dybala in Roma, kept on the wing by Mourinho, who needed a pick and shovel and struggled until he found a ticket for the final in Budapest amidst the uproar of Mourinho, booed by the German stands, smiling and exultant after placing the team in the second consecutive European final after winning the Conference League a year ago. His team only finished once and the attempt was not between the sticks, but he left the field like a winner after hugging Alonso.
Three Italian finalists
Italy has placed a team in each of the three European finals. Fiorentina got into the decisive duel of the Conference League with a goal that defeated Basel (1-3) in the 128th minute of extra time that was played on Swiss soil. Everything indicated that the penalties were going to determine if the Swiss country was going to place a team in a continental final for the first time, but an unexpected goal from the Czech Barak in a rival defensive failure settled a tie in which Basel had prevailed by the minimum in the first leg held on Italian soil.
Fiorentina, who have not played in a European final since they entered the old UEFA Cup final in 1990 with Roberto Baggio in their ranks, will face West Ham United in Prague, home winner of AZ Alkmaar (0-1 ) thanks to a goal by Pablo Fornals also in extra time, when the Dutch were looking to equalize the tie.
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