Europa League final match report: Sevilla 3-2 Inter
Here’s how Jamie Jackson saw the Europa League final unfold on a dramatic night in Cologne …
Sevilla get their prize: Julen Lopetegui leads his players up on to the podium and they get their medals. Jesus Navas, who has had a terrific game tonight, is the last man up. He’s handed the trophy, wanders over to his jubilant team-mates and lifts it towards the heavens. For the sixth time in 14 seasons, Sevilla are Europa League champions!
The presentation: The match officials get their commemorative medals and enjoy a group hug before the disappointed players of Inter are presented with their runners-up medals. Several of them remove them as soon as they are put around their necks.
The tale of the game: Inter went ahead after three minutes when Romelu Lukaku scored from the penalty spot after being wrestled to the ground by Diego Carlos, who should have been sent off but got away with a yellow card from the referee.
Two headed goals from Luuk de Jong put Sevilla in front, before Diego restored parity before half time. Lukaku’s own goal settled the game, the Belgian accidentally prodding the ball past his own goalkeeper as he attempted to clear a bicycle kick from … Diego Carlos.
Sevilla are champions! Julen Lopetegui wipes tears of joy from his face as he walks on to the pitch to congratulate his players after their heroic come-from-behind win. He had a huge rebuild at the club last summer, bringing in 14 players but he’s managed to mould them into something special. The players of Sevilla are understandably delighted, while those of Inter are understandably distraught.
Full time: Sevilla 3-2 Inter
Super Sevilla have done it again! The Spanish side win the Europa League, beating Inter by the odd goal of five.
90+6 min: Inter play it long towards Lukaku but the ball is overhit and Reguilon shepherds it out of play.
90+4 min: Sevilla win another throw-in near halfway after Inter waste a free-kick. There’s just two minutes of added time left for Inter to try to keep themselves in the game.
90+2 min: Alexis Sanchez is penalised for a foul and Sevilla take an age to take the free-kick.
90 min: Inte keep plugging away as the fourth official signals six added minutes.
88 min: Interesting stat, courtesy of Robbie Savage on BT Sport – Sevilla have not conceded a goal in the second half of any of their past 12 matches. If they hold out tonight, they’ll win their sixth Europa League title since the turn of the millennium.
85 min: Time is running out for Inter and Sevilla are trying to waste what’s left of it by making substitutions v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. De Jong is replaced by En Nesyri, then Gudelj comes on for Diego Carlos.
82 min: Alexis Sanchez has an effort cleared off the line by Jules Kounde after a bit of a scramble in the Sevilla penalty area in which Romelu Lukaku attempted to hook the ball goalwards.
78 min: Sevilla substitution: Vazquez on for Suso. Inter triple substitution: Victor Moses, Alexis Sanchez and Christian Eriksen on for Galiardini, D’Ambrosio and Martinez. Sevilla win another free-kick but another splendid delivery from Banega is headed over the bar.
GOAL! Sevilla 3-2 Inter (Lukaku 74og)
Oh my! Sevilla lead. The free-kick was headed clear and Diego Carlos, who should have been sent off in the third minute, tries his luck with a bicycle kick. his effort is going narrowly wide, but Romelu Lukaku sticks out a foot and accidentally diverts the ball into his own net. Sevilla lead by the odd goal of five.
73 min: Gagliardini is booked for tugging the shirt of Jesus Navas. Free-kick for Sevilla, in line with the right side of the Inter penalty area. Ever Banega curls the ball towards the far post …
71 min: Lautaro Martinez wins his Inter side a free-kick in a good position, in line with the left side of the Sevilla penalty area. Ashley Young whips the ball into the corridor of uncertainty with pace, where it’s punched clear by Bono.
69 min: Sevilla substitution: Lucas Ocampos, who has been struggling with a thigh injury all night, limps off the pitch. He’s replaced by Munir.
67 min: Gagliardini plays a chipped pass to Romelu Lukaku on the edge of the penalty area, but the striker’s cushioned header isn’t as deft as it should be.
65 min: Lukaku gets in behind the Sevilla defence to control a long ball and finds himself one on one with Bono. He tries to roll the ball past the onrushing keeper and into the bottom right-hand corner, but under a blood red sky, the goalkeeper finds what he’s looking for in the shape of an outstretched left leg which blocks the ball.
62 min: Inter go on the attack, with Godin on the ball. A misunderstanding between him and D’Ambrosio results in the veteran defender sending the ball out of play for a goal kick.
60 min: Past the hour mark we go, with this Europa League final poised on a knife-edge. It’s difficult to call at this point – there’s very little in it and neither side is particularly dominant. Sevilla’s Jesus Navas sends another cross towards the far post from the right flank and it’s headed clear. Neither Ocampos or De Jong made much of an effort to get on the end of that delivery.
58 min: Corner for Inter. It’s played short and the ball is eventually worked across the face of the Sevilla penalty area. Ashley Young tries his luck but fires over the bar.
56 min: Ocampos plays the ball wide to Reguilon, who canters down the left flank, cuts inside and beats Diego Godin before shooting into the side-netting with his left foot.
55 min: Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni is booked for a bad tackle on Suso, who he clatters into from behind.
53 min: A spell of pressure from Sevilla. A Navas cross from the right is blocked and the ball goes to Banega, who’s chipped up-and-under is brought down expertly by De Jong. He takes one touch too many and is closed down in the Inter penalty area before he can fire off a shot.
51 min: Diego Carlos dives and gets a block in as Gagliardini runs on to a loose ball and looks poised to smash it home from the edge of the penalty area.
50 min: Barella goes down holding his throat after being caught by Diego Carlos. Free-kick for Inter, inside their own half.
48 min: Now Jordan is lucky to avoid a yellow card for a blatant pull on the shirt of Marcelo Brozovic.
47 min: Joan Jordan brings down Gagliardini right in front of the refree, who awards Inter a free-kick just inside their own half, out by the touchline.
Second half: Sevilla 2-2 Inter
46 min: Play resumes with no changes in personnel on either side. Luuk de Jong gets the ball rolling for Sevilla.
A pedantic boffin tweets on the Diego Carlos penalty concession …
Half-time: Sevilla 2-2 Inter
Peep! It’s all square at the interval in Cologne, following a white-knuckle ride of a first half. Inter went ahead courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku penalty which should have also resulted in a red card for Sevilla’s Diego Carlos. Sevilla went ahead and then equalised through a couple of headers from Luuk De Jong, only for Inter to restore parity through Diego Godin.
45+1 min: Sevilla win a free-kick, wide on the right. Banega whips the ball into the penalty area. Lucas Ocampos leaps to flick the ball inches over the bar.
45 min: Ever Banega gets booked for a trip on Roberto Galliardini, who’d given him the slip and was off on a canter down the left touchline with the ball at his feet.
43 min: Inter go forward with Lukaku on the ball. He attempts to pick out Lautaro Martinez on the edge of the Sevilla penalty area but his pass is intercepted.
41 min: Nicolo Barella gets booked for a little kick at Ever Banega, who flings himself to the ground ground as if he’s just been shot by a sniper in the stands.
38 min: Two very similar goals in the space of two minutes mean we’ve had four in the first 40 minutes of a very entertaining Europa League football. Jesus Navas drills a low cross through the Inter penalty area, watching in anguish as the ball flashes across the face of the Italian side’s goal, with nobody in a white shirt on hand to stab it home.
GOAL! Sevilla 2-2 Inter (Godin 35)
Ah, stop it. From the free-kick, the ball’s floated into the area by Brozovic and Diego Godin leaps to head past Bono at the far post. It’s all square again.
35 min: Now Inter have a free-kick, about 35 yards from goal, a little right of centre.
GOAL! Sevilla 2-1 Inter (De Jong 33)
Ever Banega floats the ball to the far post, where Luuk de Jong leaps highest to guide a wonderful header across the face of goal past Samir Handanovic. That’s a terrific header, which seemed to take an age to go in.