Luuk de Jong was never able to prevail in Gladbach, he has now become a hero for Sevilla FC. Thanks to two goals from the Dutchman, the Spaniards won the Europa League against Inter – a title of historic dimensions.
Photo series with 25 pictures
Sevilla FC is continuing its endless love story in the Europa League thanks to Luuk de Jong and a dream goal from Diego Carlos. The record holder defeated the favored Italian runner-up Inter Milan in a highly spectacular and heated final in Cologne 3-2 (2-2) and won the second highest European competition for the sixth time. While the Europa League remains a “paradise” (El Pais) for the Andalusians, Inter’s lean period continues.
Diego Carlos with an overhead kick deflected by Milan striker Romelu Lukaku (74th) ended Inter’s dream of the first international triumph since the Champions League victory against Bayern Munich in 2010. Lukaku had previously fouled (5th) and Diego Godin (36th) .) met before the change for Inter, the former Gladbacher de Jong (12th, 33rd) put together a brace for Sevilla. As in the semi-final against Manchester United (2: 1), the team spirit and morale of the Spaniards prevailed against the higher individual quality of the opponent – Seville also saved the European Cup season of the Spanish teams.
Milan, on the other hand, landed hard on the ground after impressive performances at the final tournament in North Rhine-Westphalia – a bitter disappointment in view of the high demands of the former European heavyweight. After only Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz was able to score in the last seven competitive games against the Lombards, this time the defensive bulwark revealed unusual gaps.
Before the game, Inter coach Antonio Conte had demanded “passion, courage and enthusiasm” from his team in order to “finally bring the pot back to Italy and make history”. Since Seville also displayed these virtues, a fast-paced, highly intense encounter with numerous goal area scenes developed from the first second.
Exuberant joy: Luuk de Jong (center) after his second goal against Inter. (Source: Friedemann Vogel / Pool via REUTERS / Reuters)
After a mistake by keeper Samir Handanovic, Sevilla had the first good opportunity, but Fernando’s attempt (3rd) was blocked on the line. In direct return Lukaku could only be stopped by a foul after a solo from Diego Carlos’ own half. With his goal from the point, the Belgian extended his record to eleven consecutive Europa League games with at least one goal.
But Seville was only shocked for a short time, de Jong turned the balanced game with a remarkable double header in favor of coach Julen Lopetegui’s team. The match was getting worse and worse, referee Danny Makkelie kept coming into focus. Godin converted one of the numerous free kicks to the break with a head.
After the change, Sevilla initially gained slight field advantages, but the opponent from Italy was more offensive. Lukaku (65th), however, failed alone in front of the goal against Yassine Bounou. The attacker later became unlucky when he unluckily deflected Diego Carlos’ overhead kick. UEFA rated the goal for the Brazilian in the service of Seville.