After a full of twists and turns game , Sevilla FC won the sixth Europa League in their history thanks to their 3-2 win over Inter Milan. Luuk de Jong, who scored brace, was instrumental for his team.
Sevilla FC and Inter Milan dreamed of making history tonight at the Rhein Energy Stadium in Cologne. Victory over Manchester United (2-1) in the semi-finals, the Andalusian club could win its sixth Europa League in its history. On the Inter side, a final victory in the European Cup would give Antonio Conte’s men’s season even more relief. For this clash, Julen Lopetegui opted for a 4-3-3 with the titles notably Jules Koundé, Diego Carlos and Lucas Ocampos. On the Italian side, Antonio Conte was backed up by a 3-5-2 with Lukaku’ Lautaro Martinez leading the way. The meeting could not have started any worse for the Andalusian formation.
Well launched into the deep, Lukaku passed the shoulder in front of Diego Carlos and forced the Brazilian defender to commit the irreparable in the box. The referee logically indicated the penalty spot. The Belgian striker did not tremble and opened the scoring (1-0, 5th). Lopetegui’s men did not gamberge and equalised seven minutes later on their first opportunity. Well shifted on the right side, Navas distilled an excellent cross for De Jong whose header left no chance for Handanovic (1-1, 12th). The debates were a little bit over after this equalization, the Nerazzurri committed a lot of mistakes. But just after the half hour of play, Sevilla took control of the operations.
Despite himself, Lukaku offers the Europa League to Sevilla.
Following a free kick by Banega, De Jong took the best in the air on his defender and adjusted Handanovic’s header (2-1, 33rd). Seconds later, Inter also equalised on a stoppage-time stoppage. Brozovic distilled a good free-kick for Godin whose header left Bounou (2-2, 36′) with no chance. Just before the break, Ocampos on a free kick struck by Banega, gave Handanovic a cold sweat (45-2). When the second half returned, the debates were balanced between the two teams and opportunities were scarcer.
We had to wait until after the hour of play to see an interesting opportunity. Following a loose ball, Lukaku launched into the deep hit Bounou (65′). But against all odds, Sevilla FC regained the lead in the last quarter of an hour. Following a poorly sent free-kick by the Transalpine defence, Diego Carlos saw his acrobatic return deflected by Lukaku surprise Handanovic (3-2, 74′). Exastled by this surprise goal, Inter Milan went on the attack of the Spanish goals. Following a long ball, Moses, surprised by Reguilon’s miss, negotiated the leather badly in the box. The ball went back to Alexis Sanchez whose attempt was saved on the line by Koundé (82′). Thanks to this success on the wire, Sevilla FC offered themselves for the sixth time in its history the Europa League.
Man of the match: De Jong (7): The Dutch striker is a real focal point for his team-poor. His sense of purpose allows him to be on the receiving end of the excellent center distilled by Navas to equalize (1-1, 12th). On a big night, the main protagonist takes advantage of an excellent free kick from Banega to give himself a double (2-1, 33rd). Much less to his advantage when he returned from the locker room where his partners were less able to find him in good conditions. Replaced in the 85th by En-Nesyri who tried to get in tune with his partners.
- Bounou (6): The Moroccan goalkeeper can do absolutely nothing about the penalty scored by Lukaku even if he starts on the right side (1-0, 5th). Ditto Godin’s point-blank header for Inter’s equaliser (2-2, 36′). The main protagonist saves his own on his return from the locker room by winning his duel against Lukaku (65th).
- Navas (7): In the right lane of the Sevilla defence, the Andalusian club’s iconic captain made his status as a centre on De Jong’s equaliser (1-1, 12th). Always dangerous when he takes his lane, the defender was not too troubled on his side tonight. A nice performance by the right side tonight.
- Koundé (7): The former Bordeaux player was playing in the first final of his young career. The native of Paris is distinguished by his serenity, his investment science. His good vision of the game allows him to anticipate hot situations. His desire to relaunch cleanly remains interesting. The young central defender saved his own by tapping alexis Sanchez’s 82nd-half try on his line. A serious copy made tonight by the 21-year-old who very well muzzled Lautaro Martinez.
- Diego Carlos (5): The former Nantes player had a difficult start tonight, causing the penalty on Lukaku to open the scoring for Inter (1-0, 5th). A mistake that earns him a warning. A nightmarish first act that continued afterwards. He causes the foul on Lukaku who brings the free kick of the Italian equaliser, before being beaten in the air by Godin on goal (2-2, 36th). Recovers well on the return from the locker room with a saving tackle on a strike by Gagliardini (52nd). His acrobatic return deflected by Lukaku allowed his side to regain the advantage (3-2, 74′). At the end of the roll, the Brazilian central defender gives way to the 88th by Gudelj
- Reguilon (6.5): Very interesting in his corridor, the left side did not hesitate to project himself offensively. The player on loan from Real Madrid has split quite a bit with Ocampos. Serious defensively in the first act, he did not give up on the return of the locker room quite the contrary. Small downside with a bad intervention at the end of the match that could have benefited Moses (82nd).
- Fernando (4): Positioned in front of the defence, the Brazilian midfielder had some difficulties. If he rakes a lot of balls, the latter was distinguished by losses of balls, which were not harmful to his team in the first half. Faced with the physical impact proposed by Inter in the interplay, he had all the trouble in the world to exist.
- Joan Jordan (4.5): Very sober in the game, the Spanish midfielder always prefers the right gesture but knows how to make his technique speak. Tactically disciplined, he disappeared a little from the traffic when he returned from the locker room.
- Banega (6.5): The Argentinian midfielder always brings as much with his vision of the game and his quality in transmissions. His technical fluency allows him to alternate short game, long game with ease. Decisive passer on the second goal scored by De Jong (2-1, 33rd). The number ten was shown a yellow card just before the break (45th). His poorly negotiated free-kick by the Italian defence caused Sevilla’s third goal (3-2, 74′).
- Suso (4.5): The Spanish winger tried a lot in his right lane but did not have the influence expected in the first act. Well muzzled by the Italian rearguard, he seemed to lack inspiration at times. A discreet encounter concerning the former AC Milan player. Replaced in the 77th by Vazquez who could not bring much.
- De Jong (7): see above.
- Ocampos (5.5): a real poison for defenders. Always generous in the effort, the former Marseille player multiplied on the left side to provide solutions. The Argentine striker has combined quite a bit with Reguilon on his side. The number five could have surprised Handanovic’s head just before the break (45-2). Unfortunately for him, he passed away on his return from the locker room, hampered by his recent physical problems. Replaced in the 70th by El Haddadi who was very valuable in the preservation of the ball.
- Handanovic (5): The Slovenian goalkeeper did not start his match well on this unreassuring exit (2nd). However, he could not do much about these two monstrous headers from Luuk De Jong, a two-time goalscorer tonight (12th, 33rd), and on that shot deflected by Lukaku in his own goal. Despite this, he made some nice parades especially on this tap that diverts the ball just above the bar (45th).
- Godin (6): Caught speeding by a Luuk De Jong twirling on a Navas centre that led to the equalization of the Sevilla players, the Uruguayan defender was surprisingly feverish in his interventions (12th, 21st). Fortunately for him, on this perfectly struck free kick by Brozovic, the former Colchoneros jumped higher than everyone else and allowed his team to equalize (36th). Replaced in the 90th by Candreva who was ready to offer the equalizer to his own, to no avail (91st).
- de Vrij (5.5): Positioned in the axis of this three-man defence, the Dutchman was rather good in the recovery, despite the signs of nervousness displayed by his defensive partners tonight. When it came to imposing oneself in the air, it was quite different. Caught by the aggressiveness of the Sevillians, he lost too many aerial duels, reassuring his goalkeeper very little (78th).
- Bastoni (5.5): Although ubiquitous in aerial duels (24th), the 6’9″n’t young defender showed signs of feverishness on several occasions and did not have the expected impact in this defence. He also made too many unnecessary mistakes. Although his technique was not lacking tonight, his ground operations were not really under control.
- D’Ambrosio (6.5): Putting a lot of impact in the game, the side with the physicality of central defender chained the climbs in his corridor, repeatedly seeking to combine with his partners in the middle, thus multiplying the dangerous centers in the surface (8th, 58th). An overflow on his right side that was not far from leading to a goal but his shot went over the frame (18th). Despite making far too many repeated avoidable mistakes (2nd, 19th, 20th, 22nd). Replaced in the 79th by a Victor Mosesnot far from being decisive as soon as he entered, in vain (82nd).
- Barella (6.5): Author of a sublime deep pass to Lukaka in the 3rd minute of play, the Italian regaled by the quality of his openings of high class. However, sometimes too aggressive in his interventions, which earned him a yellow card (42nd). Not hesitating to make his vivacity speak in the first half, the second half seemed a little long for the midfielder, less in legs.
- Brozovic (7): The Croatian midfielder has made his pass quality speak, via an orientation of the game worthy of the big nights. His physical impact in the game caused a lot of problems in the opposing midfield. Rewarded with this assist on this perfectly struck free kick that resulted in Godin’s equaliser (36′). Less seen in the second act, he could not prevent the defeat of Inter tonight.
- Gagliardini (6): If he delighted the fans of the round ball with his lightning passes and his quality of ball driving above average, he is somewhat at fault on the second goal of the Andalusians, the latter beaten by a Luuk de Jong of the big nights who jumped higher than the Italian and scored his second goal in this final (33rd). He could have made up for it on this attempt but the latter was finally stopped by a saving tackle by Diego Carlos (52nd). Replaced in the 78th by Eriksen who did not change the fate of the game.
- Young (6): A little far from the ball at the time of Navas’ centre leading to the Andalusian equaliser (12th), the former Red Devils player was nevertheless able to use his partner’s centre quality by taking his corridor as he knew so well to do in Manchester or on a free kick (19th).
- Lukaku (7): Decisive from the start of the match, the Belgian goaleador showed all his power and provoked a penalty following this nasty foul by Diego Carlos on the latter (3rd). A penalty that he himself calmly transformed with a flat foot, despite the good dive of the Moroccan doorman. Yet very much in legs in the first act, he missed a decisive face-to-face that could have given the advantage to his team (64th). On a sad stroke of fate, he deflected the ball into his own goal and allowed Sevilla to prevail on the wire (74th).
- Lautaro (5.5): Less in leg than his Belgian partner on the front of the Nerazzurri attack, the Argentinian showed signs of nervousness on several occasions, resulting in avoidable fouls (27th). A match to forget for the one who has a habit of regaling his fans. Replaced in the 78th by Alexis Sanchez who nevertheless in legs, did not make any real differences, for lack of time.