Europa League Semi Final – 1st leg – Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla

And here we go again, Sevilla FC, our adopted team, a football club arguably not even in the Spanish elite, is gearing up for its FIFTH European Semi Final in only 10 years, and its THIRD in THREE! When you take a moment to stop and think about that fact (not to mention our other cup runs) it is clear that we have a quite remarkable record that the vast majority of football clubs could only dream of having.

But, alas, we don’t want to stop there and get caught up patting ourselves on the back for years of punching above our weight. It is not the Sevilla way. We want, no, we DEMAND more! And what better way to answer our demands than with another Europa trophy in May?

In recent years, with the increase in TV revenues for final league places, many clubs’ priorities have been tweaked somewhat. However, despite all of the short term financial gains, winning trophies is what football is really all about. It is what the fans savour for years to come, drinking off the sweet memories, and what the history books ultimately define as ‘success’

Although, In our way to another memorable final and a crack at third consecutive title is our old foe, Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. Memorable for our last minute winner from goalkeeper Palop in 2007, Shakhtar currently play all of their ‘home’ matches in and entirely different city, the old City of the Lion, otherwise known as Lviv, about 700 miles west of the war torn Donetsk. Despite the fact they play all of their games away from home (heaven forbid with our form that we’d ever have to do such a thing), they are still a formidable opponent, worthy of healthy fear and respect. A far better team on paper than last years finalists Dnipro. We must be cautious.

Thankfully I doubt Emery will be resting easy for this one, and I expect to see a big performance from our team. If only we could re-create the last Euro semi final away to Fiorentina, which incidentally was almost one whole year ago. Thinking about it is depressing, our last, meaningful away win (Bilbao aside) was a whole YEAR ago!! A truly shocking statistic, but one that will be quickly forgotten, at least temporarily, should we record a big win tonight.

In conclusion, if there is one thing we can never rightfully complain about as Sevilla supporters, it is boredom. The kind of boredom that afflicts so many followers of the beautiful game, the boredom that makes one question whether to tune in, or turn up again next week, or even next season. Of course, there is frustration. That can affect us all, no matter what team we support, but with Sevilla… boredom? No chance! So here we go again, preparing for another roller-coaster of emotions. Come on boys, you can do it!

¡VAMOS MI SEVILLA!

Sevilla winners 2015

 

***team news etc. predictions etc were lost by me in error, so please feel free to discuss below

N.B: For more information on our opponents, here is an interesting story, albeit a year old now, about Shakhtar’s change of home, can be found here:

http://mashable.com/2015/04/10/displaced-ukraine-football-club-shakhtar-donetsk/#C09SN7GanPqD

Also a more recent article (from this week) can be found here:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2016/apr/27/shakhtar-donetsk-darijo-srna-sevilla-europa-league-semi-final?CMP=share_btn_tw