Sevilla (5) 3-1 (3) Shakhtar Donetsk: Holders through to another Europa League final

Last year's champions are seeking their third successive win in this competition after seeing off the challenge of their Ukrainian opponents.

Sevilla (5) 3-1 (3) Shakhtar Donetsk: Holders through to another Europa League final
Kevin Gameiro celebrates opening the scoring on Thursday night. (Photo: UEFA)
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Shakhtar Donetsk
Sevilla: (4-2-3-1): Soria; Mariano, Rami, Carriço, Trémoulinas (Escudero 73'); Krychowiak, N'Zonzi; Coke, Banega (Cristóforo 89'), Vitolo; Gameiro (Iborra 82').
Shakhtar Donetsk: (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Srna, Kutcher, Rakitskiy, Ismaily; Malyshev, Stepanenko; Marlos (Wellington 84'), Kovalenko, Taison (Bernard 76'); Eduardo (Dentinho 84').
SCORE: 1-0, Gameiro 9'. 1-1, Eduardo 44'. 2-1, Gameiro 47'. 3-1, Mariano 59'.
REFEREE: Björn Kuipers (NED). Booked: Marlos 12', Rakitskiy 15', Kutcher 20', Banega 30', Srna 48', Eduardo 61', Stepanenko 76', Vitolo 87', Ismaily 90'.
INCIDENTS: Second leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final between Sevilla, of Spain, and Shakhtar Donetsk, of the Ukraine. The match was played at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville.

Sevilla will have a shot at a third successive Europa League title after getting the better of Shakhtar Donetsk in their last four tie, beating them 2-1 in Thursday's second leg to make it 4-3 on aggregate.

The holders will face Liverpool in the final in Basel later this month, who beat fellow Spaniards Villarreal in their semi-final.

Kevin Gameiro opened the scoring after only nine minutes for Sevilla in their home leg, capitalising on an early defensive error, but Eduardo da Silva, formerly of Arsenal, would level things on the night right before the break.

The hosts were still going through on aggregate after scoring two away goals in the first leg, but Gameiro made sure of progression to the final stage when he put them back into the lead less than two minutes after the restart.

Mariano Ferreira then put the gloss on the victory with a sweetly-hit third from the right flank, getting forward from his right-back role to convert in superb fashion.

Even first half; level scoreline

There was nothing in it in the early knockings of the game, but an error from Maksym Malyshev after only nine minutes would prove costly as Gameiro broke through and opened the scoring for Sevilla.

The Shakhtar defender let a simple pass roll under his foot and the Frenchman pounced; using his pace to race in behind before using his composure to apply a deadly finish that put the hosts ahead on the night, and on aggregate.

Despite this, there was little to separate the two in the first half. Neither really took control of the opening 45 minutes, nor did either really threaten in a tame start to the second leg.

Sevilla edged the first half if anything, with the likes of holding midfielder Steven N'Zonzi standing out - breaking up attacks and getting the home side going forward again - rather than players like striker Eduardo and creative force Ever Banega.

The Ukranian outfit would be more adventurous as the interval neared, and understandably so with them chasing the game, but they didn't create much, with Taison fizzing a shot off target just past the half hour mark.

That was until the final minute of the half when Eduardo burst through, levelled the scores and gave his side an away goal they were desperate for.

This capped off a very strong end to the half from the visitors, who had gone up through the gears and finally produced something in the final third to show for it - Marlos with a mesmerising assist, producing a lovely disguised through ball after a positive drive forward.

Eduardo's strike on the stroke of half time meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, despite meaning a lot at the time. (Photo: UEFA)
Eduardo's strike on the stroke of half time meant a lot at the time, but nothing in the grand scheme of things. (Photo: UEFA)

Gameiro at it again as Sevilla wrap things up

Shakhtar were expected to come out and really give Sevilla a run for their money in the second period, boosted by an equaliser right on half time, but instead they conceded only two minutes after the restart.

It was that man Gameiro again who was sharp from the off, with Grzegorz Krychowiak given far too much time and space to pick out the run of his teammate, who was round the 'keeper with one touch and able to finish from a tight angle with his second.

Oozing with confidence on the brink of a hat-trick, Gameiro almost claimed the match ball in stunning fashion as he met a loose ball with an overhead kick moments later, only to see it fly just over the bar.

However, the hosts would get the two goal cushion they were after as Mariano got forward from his right-back position and fired a stunning effort into the far bottom corner.

The Brazilian was all of 25 yards out when he took aim, but the ball was going nowhere but in once he'd made contact as he put the cherry on top, sealing  Sevilla's passage to the final just before the hour.

Comfortable win for the holders

In the end, it was a rather straight-forward victory for the home side. They could have even added to their lead in the final stages, but Krychowiak headed over with the best chance they had at 3-1.

Shakhtar only needed two goals with half an hour remaining, but they seemed to admit defeat when Mariano's effort flew in and that gave Sevilla a comfortable ending to the game.

Nonetheless, it was a ruthless and clinical performance by the Spaniards, who will head to Basel later this month looking to retain their title once more.