NEWS
Wednesday May 18 2016
Coke double inspires Sevilla comeback

Sevilla claimed a third straight Europa League and fifth in 10 years after a double from captain Coke inspired a comeback against Liverpool.

Daniel Sturridge scored 10 minutes before the interval after a first half that saw Sevilla have plenty of the ball and some promising positions, but do little with either and more than once have to be bailed out by David Soria while the game was goalless.

Kevin Gameiro levelled before Liverpool had managed a kick of the second half after good work down the right by Mariano and Sevilla maintained the momentum just past the hour when Coke converted after a fluid move involving Vitolo and Ever Banega.

Coke got his second, Sevilla’s third, six minutes later, lashing home from close range as Los Rojiblancos turned the game on its head, producing a stunning second half after a sorry first.

Unai Emery’s side can now win two Cups in a matter of days, with Sunday seeing the Copa del Rey Final against La Liga champions Barcelona.

Emre Can produced the first shot on goal after a scrappy opening few minutes dominated by Sevilla, Dani Carrico then clearing off the line and risking a penalty for handball within a few minutes.

Sevilla had plenty of territory but no chances, Liverpool conceding possession but looking to spring forward quickly after winning the ball, Adam Lallana slipping Sturridge in behind the defence on one such occasion but Soria equal to the shot again.

Sevilla wasted chance after chance to put a quality ball into the penalty area but when the delivery was finally right, Banega finding Coke deep at the far post, Coke was able to knock the ball back into the mixer and Gameiro got up for an overhead kick, just wide.

Sturridge opened the scoring shortly after, Sevilla giving Liverpool a little too much space as they approached the penalty area, but the England striker produced a finish of genuine quality to curl the ball around Adil Rami and into the far corner with a toe poke.

It was nearly two before half time when Dejan Lovren’s header crept in from a corner but Sturridge’s attempts to turn the ball past Soria saw the assistant referee’s flag raised, the gap remaining at one when the second half kicked off.

But not for long, Sevilla levelling inside 20 seconds of the second half after Mariano skipped inside Alberto Moreno and squared for the poacher Gameiro.

Sevilla’s second have was vastly improved from the first, winning the ball back more frequently and moving it quicker, pulling the Liverpool defence out of position and threatening to get Gameiro in dangerous positions, Kolo Toure making one miraculous block in particular.

It was Simon Mignolet’s turn to block from Gameiro after Sergio Escudero’s long throw was flicked on and found the Frenchman unmarked, but the shot was scuffed - a problem Coke didn’t have when he latched on to the ball after Vitolo and Banega combined with great elegance.

There was an element of fortune to Coke’s second, Sevilla’s third, when a Liverpool player toe-poked the ball straight to the skipper in the six-yard box and despite Red protests, the goal stood - if it had come off a Sevilla player he would have been offside, but it appeared the defender was trying to knock the ball out of play.

Liverpool introduced Christian Benteke as they brought out the big guns with the intention of testing Soria on high balls but Sevilla closed ranks and were barely troubled after going into a two-goal lead.

Sevilla saw the game out with little concern to clinch a remarkable third consecutive Europa League and fifth in 10 years and with a Madrid derby in the Champions League, it means for the third year in a row La Liga dominates European competition.

Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla

Sturridge 35 (L), Gameiro 46, Coke 64, 70 (S)

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure (Benteke 83), Lovren, Moreno; Can, Milner, Lallana (Allen 72); Coutinho, Firmino (Origi 68), Sturridge

Sevilla: Soria; Mariano, Rami (Kolo 77), Carrico, Escudero; N’Zonzi, Krychowiak; Coke, Banega (Cristoforo 90+2), Vitolo; Gameiro (Iborra 89)

Referee: Eriksson [SWE]

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