The final day of UEFA Europa League quarter final games is here and the marquee matchup soccer fans across the globe have been anticipating is Wolverhampton Wanderers going up against Sevilla. This is the first ever meeting between the two sides as Sevilla look to progress and win their sixth Europa League/UEFA Cup while Wolves are set on winning the tournament to be granted access to next year’s Champions League for the first time in the clubs history. This is Wolves first quarter finals berth since the 1971-72 UEFA Cup season that saw the English side beat Juventus and Ferencvaros en route to defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspurs in the final. Sevilla have now reached the quarter finals of the Europa League for a sixth time. All five previous quarter final berths have all led to the Spanish side winning the whole tournament.
Once the game kicked off, Wolves didn’t waste time to register their first shot on target thanks to a headed effort by Raul Jiminez. This would serve as a testament to the games first 10 minutes of play as both teams flexed their muscles and showed why they’ve made it this far in the tournament.
The 11th minute saw one of the most powerful runs through the entire pitch as Adama Traora got away from multiple defenders and got fouled in the penalty box from Diego Carlos. He was destined for goal, but a penalty kick would do for Wolves. Raul Jimenez was the man to step up to the spot, but his penalty was saved by the Moroccan goalkeeper and Wolves weren’t able to get a rebounded effort on target. The first real goal scoring chance of the game was wasted.
But Sevilla were having their way with possession. With just over 20 minutes played, the Spanish side had over 70% of the games possession and had their sights on taking the game to Wolves. Cross after cross, the Wolves defense was put under a lot of pressure to avoid being in a deficit.
Sevilla weren’t helping themselves with their chances. It seemed like Sevilla were one pass or a couple feet away from finding their target man and they kept on falling short. Wolves needed to combat this and it looked like the English team was going to utilize their pace to catch Sevilla on the counter attack. More and more of these attacks would have to wait since halftime came around with the game held at a stalemate.
Sevilla kept on the offensive pressure to begin the second half. The control and possession was all on the side of the Spaniards as Wolves struggled to register anything substantial at goal. Every time Wolves would start a move up the field, the Sevilla midfield (led by Ever Banega) would dissolve any hopes of substantial possession. It was clear that the class of Sevilla’s midfield was on a different level, but with 15 minutes left in regulation, the Spanish side would yet to register a shot on target. Everything was clicking but the final product wasn’t there.
Finally, the breakthrough came in the 88th minute when Lucas Ocampos headed in a scintillating header to put one leg into the Semi Finals. That’s all that was needed to send Wolves home and send Sevilla to a clash with Manchester United in the Semi Finals on August 16th.
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