Final shining spotlight on local rivalries
Monday, 7 May 2012
The UEFA Europa League showdown between Club Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club is the ninth final in the competition's history between two teams from the same country.
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If a major European final in Bucharest is a first, there is nothing new about the sight of two teams from the same country facing off for this particular prize.
This season's UEFA Europa League final between Spanish Liga sides Club Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club follows last term's all-Portuguese occasion between FC Porto and SC Braga and is the ninth final overall between two domestic rivals in the history of this competition and its predecessor, the UEFA Cup. Those seeking an omen – and Atlético fans, in particular – might want to note that only twice previously has the team ranked lower in their domestic standings come out on top in the final.
1971/72 Tottenham Hotspur FC-Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, 3-2 agg
The first UEFA Cup final was an all-English affair. Wolves had the competition's top scorer in Derek Dougan but it was Bill Nicholson's Tottenham who took the trophy, following up a 2-1 win in Wolverhampton courtesy of two Martin Chivers goals with a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
1979/80 Eintracht Frankfurt-VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, 3-3 agg (away goals)
All four semi-finalists were German but Eintracht, the lowest-placed of the quartet in the Bundesliga, emerged as surprise winners. Victorious against FC Bayern München in the last four, they overturned a 3-2 first loss against the holders with a 1-0 success through Fred Schaub's late goal, so triumphing on away goals.
1989/90 Juventus-ACF Fiorentina, 3-1 agg
Fiorentina reached the final despite a goals' return of just six from ten matches and there was no coming back when Juventus took a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Turin. Juve earned a goalless draw in a second leg on neutral ground in Avellino and then rubbed salt in Viola wounds by signing Roberto Baggio shortly after.
1990/91 FC Internazionale Milano-AS Roma, 2-1 agg
Lothar Matthäus was the man who lifted the trophy for Inter and he put them on course for victory by scoring the first goal in a 2-0 first-leg victory in Milan, where the Nerazzurri won all six home ties. Roma prevailed 1-0 back at the Stadio Olimpico but it was not enough.
1994/95 Parma FC-Juventus, 2-1 agg
Juventus ended the season with the Serie A title but it was Parma, third in Serie A, who won what was their third European final in as many years. Dino Baggio, a Bianconeri old boy, was Parma's hero, scoring the only goal of the first leg, then equalising in the 1-1 draw at the Stadio Delle Alpi.
1997/98 FC Internazionale Milano-S.S. Lazio, 3-0
The Parc des Princes contested the first one-off UEFA Cup final, and fourth all-Italian contest, and it proved a night to remember for Inter as Iván Zamorano, Javier Zanetti and Ronaldo all found the net to secure a comprehensive victory for Gigi Simoni's team.
2006/07 Sevilla FC-RCD Espanyol, 2-2 (3-1 penalties)
Hampden Park was the stage as Sevilla became only the second side after Real Madrid CF to retain the trophy. Twice they led through Adriano and Frédéric Kanouté, twice Espanyol hit back through Albert Riera and Jônatas but eventually the Andalusians prevailed on penalties.
2010/11 FC Porto-SC Braga, 1-0
Only 47km separate Porto and Braga but it was in Dublin that they contested last season's final and where Porto’s experience told as they ended the hopes of a Braga side who had shocked SL Benfica in the semi-finals. Falcao's winning goal was his 17th of the campaign – a competition record for a player now back in the final with Atlético.