Where the Europa League final was won and lost

UEFA.com's reporters dissect Sevilla's victory against Inter in Cologne.

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui with the trophy
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui with the trophy Getty Images

Sevilla have won their sixth UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League title, a deflected finish from Diego Carlos earning them a 3-2 win against Inter Milan in Cologne.

UEFA.com's Sevilla reporter Joseph Walker and Inter correspondent Paolo Menicucci decide where it all went right, and wrong.

Final: as it happened, reaction


Where the match was won, by Joseph Walker

Lopetegui gets his selection spot-on

Watch De Jong highlights and reaction
Watch De Jong highlights and reaction

Luuk de Jong's inclusion from the start raised a few eyebrows, but the Dutchman more than repaid his coach's faith with two unstoppable headers to set Sevilla on the way to glory. More than just his goals, however, De Jong's hold-up play was brilliant as he allowed the likes of Lucas Ocampos and Suso to get into the game, while getting the better of the wily old timer Diego Godín.

Bounou bonus for Sevilla

It has not been an easy season for the Moroccan goalkeeper, who was second choice to Tomáš Vaclík until the Czech international sustained a knee injury last month. Bounou stepped up to the plate, saving a penalty in the quarter-final against Wolves before producing a man of the match display in the semis against Manchester United.

His most crucial intervention, however, came at 2-2 when Romelu Lukaku was running through on goal. It seemed for all the world the Belgian would score, but Bounou denied him. Minutes later, Diego Carlos's deflected shot made it 3-2.

Highlights: Sevilla 3-2 Inter
Highlights: Sevilla 3-2 Inter

Where the match was lost, by Paolo Menicucci

A bad day for an off-night

On the eve of the game, Inter coach Antonio Conte said he did not want his team to have any regrets after the final whistle. I'm not sure that will be the case because the Nerazzurri gave everything but failed to play as they had done in the previous rounds, often allowing Sevilla to have control in midfield and struggling to be dangerous with their usually lethal attackers, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez. Small moments decided the game – as often happens in finals – but Sevilla deserved their victory.

Not hitting the heights

Usually dominant in the air – especially in defence with Diego Godín, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni – Inter were surprisingly beaten by two headers in the first half. The Nerazzurri had just conceded one goal in the seven games prior to the final, but let in three when it counts the most. Lukaku's unfortunate touch on Diego Carlos's late strike confirmed that it wasn’t the Nerazzurri's night.