Paris: Benfica and Sevilla reached the Europa League final on Thursday, further cementing an Iberian grip on the sport on the continent.
Sevilla's players celebrate their win over Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. Pic/AFP.
In a week which had already seen Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid set-up a Champions League title showdown, Europe’s second-tier tournament followed a similar script.
Benfica, runners-up to Chelsea in last year’s final, weathered a Juventus onslaught in Turin to hold out for a 0-0 draw and a 2-1 semi-final aggregate win.
Meanwhile, Cameroon international Stephane Mbia headed home in the fifth minute of stoppage time to take Sevilla into the final on away goals despite losing 1-3 on the night away to Valencia.
An early strike from Sofiane Feghouli and Beto’s own goal had wiped out Sevilla’s 2-0 first leg advantage. Jeremy Mathieu’s goal then seemed to have Valencia on route to the final, but Mbia’s goal denied Los Che with the last attack of the game.