Sevilla were crowned Europa League champions for the sixth time after a sensational 3-2 win over Inter Milan. Striker Luuk de Jong’s brace and an audacious overhead kick by Diego Carlos helped the La Liga get their hands on the trophy.
The Serie A outfit fielded the same eleven which demolished Shakhtar Donestk in the semi-finals. Whereas, Sevilla opted to rope in semi-final substitute hero Luuk de Jong into the side.
The contest began with a frenzied pace and eventually saw a penalty being awarded in the fifth minute to Inter Milan after a foul on Romelu Lukaku by Diego Carlos. The Belgian striker converted from the spot despite goalkeeper Bounou diving the right way. With the spot-kick, Lukaku equalled the highest goal tally for the Nerazzuris in a debut campaign. The only other payer to have scored 34 goals in his first campaign was Brazil’s Ronaldo.
Sevilla turned the contest right on its head after just seven minutes. Skipper Jesus Navas’ delivery from the right flank was met with a powerful header by de Jong. Samir Handanavoic failed to keep the Dutchman’s effort at bay despite getting a hand on it.
The frantic start continued as the Serie A runner-ups were denied a penalty. Chaos emerged resulting in a yellow card for Inter Milan’s manager Antonio Conte.
Luuk de Jong struck once again with set pieces being the focal point of the first half. Ever Banega’s indirect freekick was met with a freakish header by the 29-year-old striker. The looping header managed to find its way past Handanovic and into the net.
It only took Inter Milan two minutes to claw their way back into the contest. Diego Godin’s header through a freekick levelled things up with ten minutes left in the half.
Diego Carlos made amends to seal Sevilla’s glory
While the initial stages of the second half failed to match the intensity of the earlier half, it was met with a moment of fruition in the 74th minute.
Diego Carlos launched a sensational bicycle kick as the ball bounced inside Inter’s penalty’s area. While replays suggested that the effort was drifting wide and a deflection off Lukaku helped Sevilla’s case.
The La Liga side were able to keep a hold of their hold despite a barrage of attacking substitutions by Antonio Conte in the end. After a goal clearance, several tackles and throw-ins, Sevilla were crowned the winners of the Europa League for the fourth time in the last 10 years. This defeat extends Inter Milan’s nine-year trophy drought.