Soccer betting experts like to say that history is written by the victors, and Sevilla made history by becoming the first-ever five-time (or as Booker T would put it, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time!) UEFA Europa League champion, the first team to win the title three times in a row (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016), and the only squad to win the tournament more than twice without ever losing a final. As a result, Liverpool – though a slight favorite among people who bet on soccer going in – has been reduced to a mere footnote in the annals of European football.
Liverpool struggled early on, with most of the possession on their side of the pitch. Toure cleared a couple of dangerous balls, but the Reds had conceded three free-kicks by the 10 minute mark. Liverpool’s offense began to mount with Daniel Sturridge, who came close to score a couple of times. The referee may or may not have missed a handball inside Sevilla’s box at 13 minutes of play, and yet another not long after. Sturridge insistence paid off when he improbably redirected a 20 yard pass from Coutihno right into Sevilla’s net with ten minutes to go in the first half. The score at halftime could have been bulkier; but the would-be second goal was waved off on account of an offside, and the referee ignored another apparent ball-hitting hand by a Sevillian defender.
The joy of people who put their soccer betting money on Liverpool was short-lived, though. One minute into the second half, Liverpool’s left back Alberto Moreno pretty much served the ball on a silver platter to Mariano, who in turn makes an assist to Gameiro for the tying goal. The tide begins to turn in favor of the Spaniards as the Englishmen endeavor to regain their bearings. Whoever scores the next goal may very well be hammering the last nail in the other’s team coffin, as well as in the aspirations of the people who favored that team when they bet on soccer.
And it is Coke – very high on himself – who tips the scales on favor of Sevilla at the 64th minute. And right after a big save by Mignolet, too. The Sevillian attack crafted a beautiful goal that left the Red defense seeing, well, red. Six minutes later, Coke makes it academic with his second goal and third and final for Sevilla – it might have been offside were it not for the fact that the ball bounced off Coutihno before Coke put it past Mignolet, who managed to graze the ball without being able to fully deflect it. Liverpool boss sends some men in, including Divock Origi, but it’s already too late. Sevilla makes its own substitutions, mostly to run out the clock until the final whistle. And the rest is – as soccer betting experts also like to say – history.