Mircea Lucescu wants revenge for the European heartbreak Shakhtar Donetsk suffered at the hands of Sevilla in 2007.
The two sides were paired together in Friday’s Europa League semi-final draw in Nyon, handing the Ukrainian club the chance to banish memories of their 5-4 aggregate loss to Sevilla nearly a decade ago.
A last-gasp header from goalkeeper Andres Palop took the last-16 tie to extra time, where Sevilla progressed on their way to the second of a record four triumphs in the competition.
Long-serving Shakhtar coach Lucescu still insists he does not think about that game now, but his vivid recollection suggests otherwise.
He said: “Nine years ago, Sevilla qualified thanks to unbelievable luck and to Palop’s inspiration. Ten seconds were left to be played and we qualified.
“But I don’t think about that game anymore, because Sevilla don’t have the same team. I think that all the players left the club since then. We will try to take revenge, but it will be very difficult.”
Sevilla have won the Europa League in each of the last two seasons and sporting director Monchi was pleased to avoid fellow La Liga side Villarreal, who were draw against Liverpool in the other last-four showdown.
“Our aim was to avoid a Spanish semi-final. We want an all-Spanish final,” he explained.
“The first step has been taken, but we have to beat our rivals. We’ve been paired with a difficult team, but I believe in Sevilla.
“Shakhtar have very good Brazilian players and also experienced players, like Darijo [Srna] and [Andriy] Pyatov. They are a great team.”
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