Understudy keeper Bounou is Sevilla's unlikely hero

Yassine Bounou's phenomenal performance between the sticks guided Sevilla past Manchester United and into the final of the Europa League.

Yassine Bounou

Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stretches to deny Manchester United's Anthony Martial during their Europa League semifinal clash.   -  Getty Images

Sevilla's match-winner Luuk de Jong led the praise for keeper Yassine Bounou after an inspired series of saves kept Manchester United at bay in the Europa League semifinal on Sunday.

Substitute De Jong stole in to fire Sevilla into next Friday's final in the 78th minute, but only after Moroccan shot-stopper Bounou kept the side in the match either side of halftime.

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He made six crucial saves to deny Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial, at times appearing to be taking on United's attack on his own.

“Compliments to Bono, who saved us so many times at 1-1,” Dutchman De Jong, who put Sevilla one win away from a sixth title in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, said.

“Then I got the chance to come in and score the winning goal. It feels fantastic to be in the final now. We had a really good match tonight, with an incredible goalkeeper on our side,” he added.

Bounou, on loan from Girona, has been Sevilla's number two keeper behind Tomas Vaclik this season in La Liga. But with the Czech having suffered a knee injury he took his chance to shine at the end of the domestic campaign.

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Before being beaten by Fernandes's early penalty, Bounou had conceded just once in six games.

“Our goalkeeper put in a good performance,” coach Julen Lopetegui said. “We waited for De Jong's arrival and we took advantage. Bono in the second half was very important for us.”

Bounou has been Sevilla's Europa League keeper this season and now will get the chance to help the Spanish team win the competition for an astonishing sixth time.

“I'm very happy because we know Manchester United are a big club,” the Canada-born 29-year-old, not surprisingly named man of the match, said.

“We were clever and in the bad moments we were strong. When they had difficult moments, we scored the goals. This team has good motivation, and now we have a beautiful final.”

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