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Sunday 4 December 2016

sevilla's bacca in the big time

Spaniards win Europa double and Champions League place

Sevilla's Europa League final hero Carlos Bacca dedicated his matching-winning double to God and his family after helping the Spaniards to a record fourth win in the competition.

The 28-year-old Colombian struck either side of half-time in a 3-2 victory over Dnipro in Warsaw to retain the trophy they won last season and add it to the club's back-to-back UEFA Cup victories in 2006 and 2007.

Bacca said: "I want to dedicate this to God and my family in Colombia. This is something unique. I want to enjoy it. I was pleased to help the side with two goals."

Sevilla, who will play in next season's Champions League as a result of their success, had to come from behind to edge a five-goal thriller after Nikola Kalinic had headed Dnipro into a seventh-minute lead.

Grzegorz Krychowiak levelled with 28 minutes gone to set the stage for Bacca to fire the La Liga side into the lead three minutes later from Jose Antonio Reyes' defence-splitting pass.

Skipper Ruslan Rotan dragged the Ukrainians level with a sweetly-struck 44th-minute free-kick, only for Bacca to snatch victory 17 minutes from time with an assured finish.

Sevilla full-back Aleix Vidal paid tribute to Dnipro's resilience.

He said: "We wanted to win another title. We have always maintained the same thing: if a side gets to the final, it's because they're doing things right.

"Dnipro showed they're a top side. We showed what you had to do in order to get over the line."

Sevilla coach Unai Emery was delighted, if relieved, to see his side come through a testing 90 minutes on the right end of the scoreline.

He said: "It has been a lot of work. The whole side worked very well. We've had difficulties in all of the games.

"At half-time, we spoke about how this competition takes a lot out of you, and that we had to wait for our moment. We deserve this. We have to enjoy it."

Dnipro ended the game with concerns over Brazilian midfielder Matheus, who left the field on a stretcher after collapsing following a clash of heads, although it was later confirmed the damage was nothing more than a broken nose.

Coach Myron Markevych said: "Unfortunately today we allowed Bacca the chance to be aggressive. We made a lot of mistakes in defence. They (Sevilla) were more experienced, and I think that showed."

europa league final: sevilla 3 dnipro 2

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