SEVILLA, Spain (Reuters) – Sevilla will be chasing their third straight Europa League title after Fernando Llorente scored against his former club Juventus to secure a 1-0 win for the Spanish side in Champions League Group D on Tuesday.
Juve and Manchester City were already assured of a place in the last 16 and the English club’s 4-2 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach meant Sevilla finished third, clinching a spot in Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Former Spain striker Llorente, who joined Sevilla from Juve in the close season, headed past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in the 65th minute at the Sanchez Pizjuan while the Serie A champions failed to make a host of first-half chances count.
“We knew that for us it was a final and we started the game in a fantastic way,” Llorente told Spanish television.
“We have shown the level of this side and we are happy to go into the Europa League.”
City topped the group with 12 points from six games with Juve in second place on 11.
Sevilla, who qualified for the continent’s elite club competition by winning a second consecutive Europa League title last season, ended with six points and Gladbach finished bottom on five.
“Now we no longer have the disappointment of not being able to continue in the Champions League,” said Sevilla coach Unai Emery.
“We have the excitement of going into the Europa League which is an environment where the team feels comfortable.”
(Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Jimenez)