Sevilla beat Inter Milan 3-2 to win sixth Europa League title 1 year ago

Sevilla beat Inter Milan 3-2 to win sixth Europa League title

It truly is Sevilla's trophy

Diego Carlos endured the worst start imaginable to this Europa League final, conceding a penalty in the third minute of the game as he scrambled to stop Romelu Lukaku charging into the box. Lukaku made no mistake from the spot, equalling Ronaldo's record of 34 goals in his debut season for Inter. But Carlos would more than make up for his mistake with a spectacular bicycle kick in the 74th minute to make it 3-2 and clinch the win for Sevilla.

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Between the first and last goal, it was end to end and headers galore. Inter's initial lead lasted less than ten minutes, as Luuk De Jong, brought in for Youssef En-Nesyri after his winning goal in the semi-final, met a cross with a diving header that Handanović was hopeless to keep out.

Sevilla then took the lead through another De Jong header, this time meeting a free kick at the back post and looping the ball across the face of goal and in at the opposite post. Julen Lopetegui's decision to bring him in, despite his 11 game goal drought before the semi-final, had paid off.

But Inter reacted quickly, as Diego Godín rose above everyone at a set-piece to score a thumping header, as he tends to do on the big occasions.

2-2 at half-time, headers and tackles flying in at an ungodly rate, Antonio Conte booked. This was the most open European final in recent memory.

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The second half was predictably more cagey, until Carlos' heroic winning goal, at which point Conte had no option but to throw the kitchen sink at it.

On came Sanchez, Moses, Candreva and Eriksen. A goalmouth scramble ended in Sanchez poking the ball towards an empty net, only for Jules Koundé to clear it off the line.

Six minutes of injury time were not enough for Inter to take the game to extra time. Sevilla had done it, for the sixth time in their history, they are Europa League champions.

It is a vindicating win for Lopetegui, whose stock took a tumble in 2018 after he was sacked as Spain boss on the eve of a World Cup after his imminent move to Real Madrid was made public, only for Madrid to sack him 14 games into his reign.

It takes a lot to bounce back from that sort of setback, and his Sevilla side is a reminder of his coaching abilities, both tactically and in terms of fostering a team spirit that you cannot buy. This Sevilla team are committed to his plan, they suffer for each other on the pitch and their jubilant celebrations, as tears flowed and the manager was hurled in the air by his adoring players, were a reminder of what this trophy means to the club.

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