Mendilibar's instructions were clear; for the team to compete the best they could against Real Madrid this afternoon. Indeed, they did just that, giving it their all up until they couldn't. However, with the help of an inspired Rodrygo, Madrid leave with three points wrapped up in what was the last game of the season at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. With one eye on Budapest, many players were given a chance to rest up, presenting youth team player Manu Bueno with his first start as a first-team player. With four days to go, all attention remains fixed on the final. A victory against AS Roma would cement Sevilla's name in the history books once again after what has been a far-from-simple season.
Of the two teams, Sevilla didn't seem like the one with a final to play in four days' time as they came out of the blocks in an intense fashion. This intensity paid off and soon came the first goal of the game. After some good work from the left-hand side, the ball ricocheted off a Madrid defender and fell nicely for Rafa Mir on the half-volley. Mir sent the ball into the roof of the net, leaving Courtois no chance. Mendilibar's team couldn't have gotten off to a better start; a convincing wake-up call for their opponents. Rodrygo almost levelled the tie after some crafty work by Lucas Vazquez from the right wing but the Brazilian fluffed his lines, leaving Bono's goal untouched. Sevilla seemed to have lost their way a little but the chances were still coming their way. Rakitic saw his shot sail over the bar as did Rekik who, after winning possession from a throw-in, sent his shot over Courtois and the crossbar. However, Rodrygo brought the tie level with a freekick at the half-hour mark, deceiving Bono with his first shot on goal.
Manu Bueno played the full 90 minutes and performed well in midfield.
With the half coming to a close, Sevilla were back on top again, penning Madrid in their own half and creating two chances worthy of retaking the lead. Both chances fell to the feet of Erik Lamela. Montiel set the ball back for Lamela whose shot smacked against the post. Three minutes before half-time, another good run down the left ended in a cross from Papu to the far post, where Lamela arrived, but the ball, with a treacherous bounce just before it, went just over. It was the end of a first half in which the visitors had more of the ball but with the chances of the half falling to Sevilla.
A Madrid counter-attack from a home free-kick sealed the game with 20 minutes to go.
Both teams got off to a similar start as they did in the first half, with Sevilla shifting the ball and their opponents looking to break on the counter-attack. It took a while for any chances to come about, although five minutes after the restart Rafa Mir had a chance at the near post after a superb move by Acuña on the left flank. Mendilbar's men were trying to open the game up through the wings and, with sixty minutes on the clock, Sevilla made their first changes. Rakitic and Bryan Gil would make way for Suso and Jordán. Unfortunately, any one moment can change the face of a game. Rodrygo did just that with twenty minutes to go from a free-kick in Sevilla's favour that ended in a devastating counter-attack by the Brazilian, who scored almost at his own pace in front of Bono.
Tecatito and Óliver were the next changes and Badé saw out the last ten minutes of the game. Madrid seemed to be moving into cruise control, inviting Sevilla to come on to them. The end of the game was, however, tainted by the sending off of Acuña, who after a scuffle with Ceballos went in too hard on the Spaniard and Soto Grado showed him a straight red. That was the end of the game for a Sevilla side who bid farewell to the Sánchez-Pizjuán for the summer. It is now time to focus all our energies on Wednesday in Budapest, where not only a seventh UEFA Europa League title is at stake, but also a place in the next year's UEFA Champions League. The fans, who despite the defeat, sent their side off with cheers and chants referring to what awaits them in Hungary.