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Inter suffer heartbreak as Sevilla lift sixth Europa League




Inter suffer heartbreak as Sevilla lift sixth Europa League

Sevilla claimed a record sixth Europa League trophy as Diego Carlos proved an unlikely hero in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Inter in Cologne.

Diego Carlos was on both ends of the drama which started when he fouled Romelu Lukaku for the Inter penalty and ended when Lukaku deflected his acrobatic effort into his own net.

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring with a fifth-minute penalty giving Inter the lead – with referee Danny Makkelie deciding not to send off Diego Carlos for bringing him down – but Luuk de Jong continued his semi-final heroics by overturning the deficit with a pair of fine first-half headers.

Diego Godin’s 35th-minute equalizer had Inter immediately back on terms and the Italian side appeared to be growing in influence during a more wary second half, until a stunning turn in the events.

Carlos met a partially cleared Ever Banega free-kick with an overhead-kick which was probably going wide until Lukaku deflected the ball into his own net.

The Belgian forward went from hero to zero as he opened the scoring in Cologne and also ended it, scoring an own goal that ensured Inter’s continued wait for a European trophy since 2010.

Referee Danny Makkelie had a nervy start to his first European final, after Danilo D’Ambrosio failed to see red following after an elbow on Sergio Reguilon despite protests from Sevilla players, before Diego Carlos hacked down a goal-bound Lukaku.

The former Manchester United forward duly stepped up to the occasion and calmly slotted his spot-kick past Yassine Bounou.

Sevilla were also quick to respond with Luuk De Jong heading home the 12th minute equalizer, a superb delivery from captain Jesus Navas.

Quick fire goals were exchanged within two minutes after the half hour mark, with De Jong thumping in a firm header from an enticing Banega delivery – marking his final appearance for Sevilla in style – before Diego Godin put Inter back into the contest with a close range header from Marcelo Brozovic’s free-kick.

Following a frantic first half, the second half kicked off to slow start with both sides having chances to go in front – Diego Carlos sliding in to block Roberto Gagliardini – before Lukaku ghosted past Carlos in the 65th minute only to fire straight at Bounou as they both teams remained level.

Diego Carlos then redeemed himself with an acrobatic effort to give Sevilla the lead before Jules Kounde sensationally stopped substitute Alexis Sanchez’s effort from crossing the goal line and Bounou denied Antonio Candreva in the dying stages of the game.

Julien Lopetegui’s now has his first trophy in his coaching career as Sevilla claim a record extending sixth Europa League trophy while Inter Milan continue their wait for a first European title in 10 years.

Lukaku continued his impressive goal scoring run with his ninth of the campaign making it 11 consecutive matches. The Belgium star’s 34 goal haul in all competitions in the 2019-20 season equalling Delima Ronaldo’s record in 1997-98 for the best debut season for an Inter player.

Key Records

6 – Sevilla have lifted the UEFA Cup/Europa League six times, twice more than any other team in the history of the competition.

6 – Romelu Lukaku is the first player to score in six successive knockout stage matches in major European competition since Cristiano Ronaldo( 2012-2013).

6/11 – Since 2009-10, the Europa League has been lifted by a Spanish manager in 6 of the 11 finals (Unai Emery x3, Quique Sánchez Flores, Rafael Benítez, Julen Lopetegui).

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