Europa League

Sevilla retain their crown to end Dnipro fairytale - Europa League 2014-15

 
11:00am on Saturday 18th April 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Sevilla made in two titles on the trot, just as they had done in 2006 and 2007 in the old Uefa Cup format, defeating a Dnipro side who confounded all expectations to reach the final. In an entertaining final, the Rojiblancos won 3-2, with Carlos Bacca emerging as the hero with two goals.

CHANGES

As well as teams from Russia and Ukraine being banned from being drawn against each other, sides from Israel were also prohibited from hosting any Uefa competition matches due to the ongoing Gaza conflict. From this season onwards, teams would be required to adhere to Financial Fair Play rules, while the famous vanishing spray was introduced for the first time. In a tournament that was increasingly rewarding smaller sides with a European adventure, Torino, Feyenoord, Guingamp, Saint-Étienne, Rio Ave, Dynamo Moscow, Krasnodar, Lokeren, Asteras Tripoli, Qarabağ, HJK, Astra Giurgiu, Dinamo Minsk, AaB, and Wolfsburg made their debuts in the Europa League group stage that season, although Wolfsburg had featured previously in the knockout stages after being demoted from the Champions League.

SUMMARY

Sevilla started the defence of their title in a tricky groups, taking on Feyenoord, Rijeka and Standard Liege and in the end they progressed in second behind the Dutch outfit.

Six sides impressively went through to the knockout stages without losing a match - Borussia Monchengladbach, Club Brugge, Besiktas, Red Bull Salzburg, Dynamo Moscow, and Inter. The biggest win came via Steaua Bucuresti who destroyed Aab 6-0.

The Round of 32 produced some intriguing ties; Celtic were paired with Inter, and it would be the Serie A side who would progress 4-3 on aggregate after a Fredy Guarin thunderbolt in the second leg. Tottenham were eliminated by Fiorentina, Mo Salah on target for La Viola, while a Gervinho goal sent Roma through at the expense of Feyenoord. Liverpool were surprisingly defeated by Besiktas, on penalties, while goals from Salomon Rondon and Hulk were enough for Zenit to see off PSV. Everton, Villarreal and Napoli all eased through, too.

The Round of 16, just as the season prior, produced some mouthwatering country clashes. In-form Villarreal were no match for the tournament masters, Sevilla, while a superb second leg display from Fiorentina, winning 3-0 in Rome, sent them into the last eight. Everton were thrashed by Dynamo Kiev, racking up five goals in the second leg to go through comfortably, while Dnipro needed extra-time to get past Ajax on away goals.

You have to live in the present or else you don’t enjoy the moment. We have done a lot and we should celebrate what we have done here tonight.Unai Emery

The competition begun to heat up at the quarter-final stage. Sevilla and Zenit played out a thrilling, well-match tie that came down to a Kevin Gameiro goal in the closing minutes in Russia to send Sevilla onwards 4-3 on aggregate. Napoli put down a marker by dismantling Wolfsburg, Gonzalo Higuain and Marek Hamsik on target, while Dnipro’s journey continued, knocking out Club Brugge in a low-scoring tie. Fiorentina completed the semi-final line-up.

Napoli, so prolific in front of goal, were expected to brush aside the unfashionable Dnipro but struggled against the defensive-minded Ukrainians, who made it through 2-1 on aggregate. In the other tie Sevilla destroyed Fiorentina 5-0 over the two legs to move within touching distance of retaining their crown.

The final of the 2014-15 Europa League campaign took place on 27 May in the National Stadium in Warsaw. Dnipro were making history, reaching the final of a European competition for the first time, and only the third Ukrainian team ever to feature in a final after Shakhtar Donetsk (2009 Europa League) and Dynamo Kyiv (representing the Soviet Union in the 1975 and 1986 Cup Winners’ Cup finals).

Nikola Kalinic sent Dnipro ahead after just seven minutes but Grzegorz Krychowiak equalised before Carlos Bacca put Sevilla in front before half-time. The determined Ukrainians equalised through a Ruslan Rotan free-kick, but Bacca proved to be the hero, scoring again to secure another Europa League title for Sevilla.

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

GRZEGORZ KRYCHOWIAK

The Poland international marshalled the Sevilla midfield with style and even got a vital goal in the final.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

MYRON MARKEVYCH

The Ukrainian made sure his Dnipro players put the unrest at home behind them to rally to a deserved final place.

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON

ROMELU LUKAKU

Despite Everton going out at the last-16 stage, the Belgian still found himself as joint top-scorer when the competition ended.

TOP GOALSCORER

ALAN, ROMELU LUKAKU - 8 GOALS

TEAM OF THE SEASON

RICO; DOUGLAS, ALBIOL, KOLODZIEJCZAK, VIDAL; BANEGA, KRYCHOWIAK, ROTAN; ALAN, BACCA, KONOPLYANKA.

GOAL OF THE SEASON

ERIK LAMELA made headlines all around Europe with this strike, a rabona from the edge of the box sweetly nestled into the corner. Glorious and unconventional.

KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON

With nine minutes left on the clock in Italy, Yevhen Seleznov popped up to score a vital away goal for Dnipro against Napoli, making it 1-1 on the night. It knocked the stuffing out of the Serie A side, who failed to recover in the second leg.

Latest news

European Golden Shoe

European Golden Shoe 2021/22: Lewandowski still leads but Haaland returns with a bang

Robert Lewandowski has scored the most goals from Europe's top five leagues so far this campaign

  • 1 hour
Premier League

Premier League top scorers 2021/22: Salah continues comfortable lead at the top

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is leading the race for Golden Boot glory on 13 goals in 15 games for his club

  • 2 hours
Predicted XI

Messi rested, Neymar out – How PSG could line up against Club Brugge

PSG will play out a dead rubber in the Champions League without Neymar, and likely without Lionel Messi.

  • 6 hours
Predicted XI

Benzema out, Jovic in – How Real Madrid could line up against Inter

Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema as they look to cement top spot in Group D against Inter.

  • 6 hours
Predicted XI

Rotation for dead rubber – How Manchester City could line up against RB Leipzig

Manchester City will top Group A regardless of the result against RB Leipzig on Tuesday night.

  • 7 hours
Predicted XI

Origi earns a start – How Liverpool could line up against Milan

Divock Origi was the hero at the weekend and could earn a Champions League start for Liverpool.

  • 8 hours

Most read