Sevilla were crowned Europa League champions for a record-extending sixth time after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Inter Milan in Cologne.
In a breathless conclusion to Europe’s second-tier competition, Romelu Lukaku won and converted a fifth-minute penalty as Inter struck first at the RheinEnergieStadion.
Luuk de Jong’s bullet header hauled Sevilla level within seven minutes, and the Dutchman doubled his tally with a second headed effort on 33 minutes.
Inter hit back immediately through Diego Godin as a pulsating first half took another fascinating twist, but there was no way back for Antonio Conte’s side when Diego Carlos’ stunning bicycle kick deflected off Lukaku into his own net with 16 minutes remaining.
Sevilla saw out yet another Europa League triumph to hand Julen Lopetegui the first trophy of his managerial career at the end of a memorable night.
Sevilla: Bounou (8), Navas (7), Kounde (8), Carlos (8), Reguilon (7), Fernando (7), Banega (8), Ocampos (8), Suso (6), Jordan (6), de Jong (9).
Subs: Munir (6), Vazquez (5), Gudelj (n/a), En-Nesyri (n/a).
Inter Milan: Handanovic (7), Godin (7), de Vrij (6), Bastoni (6), D’Ambrosio (6), Barella (8), Brozovic (6), Gagliardini (6), Young (6), Lukaku (7), Martinez (6).
Subs: Sanchez (6), Moses (5), Eriksen (5), Candreva (n/a).
Man of the match: Luuk de Jong.
How Sevilla sealed sixth Europa League success
Inter thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the semi-finals and made the dream start inside five minutes in Cologne when Lukaku was hauled down in the area by Diego Carlos.
Referee Danny Makkelie – officiating his first European final – pointed straight to the spot but issued only a yellow card to the Sevilla defender, who watched on as Lukaku slotted his 34th goal of the season from 12 yards.
- Semi-final winner Luuk de Jong replaced Youssef En-Nesyri in Sevilla’s only change from the victory over Man Utd.
- Antonio Conte named an unchanged XI following Inter’s 5-0 semi-final thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk.
The lead lasted just seven minutes though, as De Jong, hero from Sevilla’s semi-final triumph over Manchester United, connected with Jesus Navas’ cross to send a bullet header through the defences of Samir Handanovic and into the roof of the Inter net.
And the Dutchman – Sevilla’s only pre-match change – vindicated Julen Lopetegui’s decision to start him with his second on 33 minutes as he met Ever Banega’s free-kick and looped an unstoppable header over Handanovic into the top corner.
But just as Inter had, Sevilla relinquished their lead in an instant as Godin rose high to head Marcelo Brozovic’s cross past goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.
The breathless first-half nature transferred into a tense second period that culminated in Sevilla restoring their lead on 74 minutes.
After Inter failed to sufficiently clear a Banega free-kick, centre-back Diego Carlos produced an acrobatic over-head kick that struck the outstretched leg of Lukaku on its way into the net.
Substitute Alexis Sanchez had an effort cleared off the line by Jules Kounde late on, but a desperate Sevilla rearguard action kept Inter at bay to secure yet another Europa League success for the Spaniards.
Opta stats: Sevilla’s night to savour
- Sevilla have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League six times, more than any other team in the history of the competition.
- Inter lost in a major UEFA European final for the first time since the 1997 UEFA Cup, when they lost on penalties to FC Schalke 04 after a 1-1 draw on aggregate over two legs.
- Since 2009/10, the Europa League has been won by a Spanish manager in six of the 11 finals (Unai Emery x3, Quique Sanchez Flores, Rafael Benitez, Julen Lopetegui).
- Sevilla have either progressed to the next round or won the competition in 21 of their last 22 Europa League knockout ties.
- Romelu Lukaku scored 34 goals in all competitions for Inter in 2019/20, the most by an Inter player in their debut season since Ronaldo scored 34 in 1997/98.
- Inter defender Diego Godin became the sixth player to have scored in a European Cup/Champions League and UEFA Cup/Europa League final, after Steven Gerrard, Hernan Crespo, Dmitri Alenichev, Allan Simonsen and Pedro.
- Romelu Lukaku’s goal in the fifth minute for Inter was the earliest in a UEFA Cup/Europa League final since 2001, when Liverpool’s Markus Babbel scored in the third minute against Alaves.
- Sevilla’s Diego Carlos conceded three penalties in the 2019/20 Europa League, the first player to concede that many in a single campaign since César Azpilicueta in 2012/13 for Chelsea.
Man of the Match – Luuk de Jong
Newcastle United fans will be scratching their heads after the Dutchman’s latest exemplary attacking display.
Fresh from sending Manchester United packing in the semis, De Jong turned the game on its head with two first-half headers of the finest order.
Having rarely looked like scoring during his barren spell in the Premier League, De Jong showcased his credentials as a top European marksman to ensure his first season at Sevilla ended with silverware.
Sevilla return to action when the new La Liga season starts on the weekend of September 12/13, while Inter Milan will kick their 2020/21 Serie A campaign off on September 19.