Luuk de Jong has shot Sevilla with the decisive goal to the final of the Europa League. The Spanish team of coach Julen Lopetegui defeated Manchester United 2-1 in the RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne. In the final to be played in the same stadium on Friday, the winner of the other semi-final between Internazionale and Sjachtar Donetsk awaits.
After Bruno Fernandes’ goal for United from a penalty and Suso’s equalizing goal in the first half, it was De Jong who made the decision deep in the second half. The attacker had started the game on the bench and was brought in in the 56th minute. About twenty minutes later, the 29-year-old Dutchman stayed away from offside and tapped in the 2-1 on the cross of Jesús Navas.
Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær gave Manchester a fierce start to the semi-final match in Cologne. The English took the lead from a penalty kick in the ninth minute. Marcos Rashford was sent into the penalty area by a nice cross ball from Anthony Martial and was knocked down by Diego Carlos. Bruno Fernandos used the penalty high in the left corner.
After Fred failed to take advantage of a great chance at the 2-0, Sevilla tied the score in the 26th minute. Suso shot the ball past goalkeeper David De Gea from a cross by Sergio Reguilón. The Spaniards then had to stop a stampede by the English at the beginning of the second half. Especially goalkeeper Yassine Bono saved shots from Martial.
The brought in De Jong was not much involved in the sparse attacks of Sevilla in the second half. However, the striker looked good at an attack in the 78th minute. Navas’ cross was tailor-made and De Jong left De Gea without a chance. In the remaining fifteen minutes, Sevilla no longer really got into trouble against United, where Timothy Fosu-Mensah was still allowed to come in.
Sevilla won the Europa League in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and was also the best in its predecessor, the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007. The Spaniards are therefore only the record holder.