Sevilla. Europa League. Made for each other.
The Spanish side won the Europa League for a record-extending sixth time on Friday night, after a thrilling game of football.
Diego Carlos’s overhead kick deflected in off Romelu Lukaku 16 minutes from time to beat Inter Milan 3-2 in a pulsating final between two very good sides in Cologne.
Carlos and Lukaku’s evening had got off to a very different start as the defender hauled the Belgian striker down and he converted the resulting penalty to put Inter in front after just five minutes.
Two Luuk De Jong headers turned the game around for Sevilla, but Diego Godin quickly levelled in a four-goal first half.
However, Italy’s wait for a first European trophy in a decade, and Inter’s nine-year trophy drought, goes on after Lukaku could not stop Carlos’s spectacular strike on another famous Europa League night for Sevilla.
As extra time was looming with the score 2-2, like so many of their previous five Europa League final victories, Sevilla conjured up a moment of magic allied with a slice of fortune they needed. Inter failed to clear a free-kick into the box and Carlos more than made amends for some of his heavy-handed defending with an overhead kick that deflected in off the unfortunate Lukaku.
And after that, they simply had to hold on to complete a superb turnaround.
Even if Sevilla had the pedigree in the competition, Inter had the stronger side on paper; indeed, it would not be wrong to call this an upset.
Here are some reactions on Twitter on what turned out to be a thrilling, emotional night even in a stadium without any fans:
And finally, with emotions running super high, the Europa League final also gave us one of the most incredible player-opponent coach interactions in football for 2020: