ROMELU LUKAKU refused to collect his runners-up medal as his stunning debut season for Inter ended in late heartbreak in the Europa League final.
The striker scored the unluckiest of own goals as Sevilla ran out 3-2 winners in a thrilling game.
Diego Carlos with the overhead! 🔥
What an effort, but it looks like Lukaku has guided the ball into his own net 😤#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/ZWOqucS1jX
The former Manchester United man – who gave Inter the lead with a penalty after just five minutes – accidentally diverted into his own net after an audacious bicycle kick by Diego Carlos to hand the La Liga side their winner.
Nothing can be taken away from Carlos’ miraculous acrobatics but his eye-catching effort was going wide.
Lukaku instinctively stuck a foot out to block it, only to guide the ball into the net, giving Sevilla the lead with just 15 minutes to play.
The final in Cologne could not have started better for the Belgian, who continued his red hot form early on.
Romelu Lukaku equals Ronaldo’s Inter record 🙌
2️⃣2️⃣ years apart, the pair both struck 34 times in their debut season at the club! 🔵⚫️#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/anjA1yvU5d
Romelu Lukaku was not at the post-match medal and trophy presentation with his Inter Milan [email protected] and his national team coach, Roberto Martinez share their perspective. pic.twitter.com/Zes6wrq0e4
The striker made no mistake to coolly tuck away from 12 yards and get Antonio Conte’s men rolling – reaching some personal milestones in the process.
That was Lukaku’s 34th goal of his first season with Inter, a feat only matched by Brazilian maestro Ronaldo in 1998.
It meant the Belgian had scored in a record ELEVEN successive Europa League games.
While he also became the first player to score in six consecutive knockout stage matches in major European competition since Cristiano Ronaldo between 2012 and 2013.
Lukaku’s joy was short-lived, as Sevilla hit back seven minutes later after former Newcastle flop Luuk de Jong brilliant nodded home from inside the box.
And the Premier League flop was again on the scoreboard following another brilliant header to give Sevilla the lead.
The Dutchman expertly looped the ball over Samir Handanovic after a deep cross from a free-kick.
But the first-half drama did not stop there, as yet another headed goal brought the teams level once more.
Diego Godin’s effort from a set-piece 10 minutes from half-time levelled up the match.
With it all to play for both teams pushed for a winner – but a moment of misfortune saw Lukaku deflect Carlos’ spectacular effort beyond a helpless Handanovic.
Romelu Lukaku has scored in 11 consecutive Europa League matches. ELEVEN!
🆚 Sevilla: ⚽️
🆚 Shakhtar: ⚽️⚽️
🆚 Leverkusen: ⚽️
🆚 Getafe: ⚽️
🆚 Ludogorets: ⚽️
🆚 Ludogorets: ⚽️
🆚 D. Kyiv: ⚽️
🆚 D. Kyiv: ⚽️
🆚 Young Boys: ⚽️⚽️
🆚 Young Boys: ⚽️⚽️⚽️
🆚 Wolfsburg: ⚽️#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/ijOETybmMu
Sevilla secured their SIXTH Europa League while it was heartbreak for Antonio Conte’s Inter again.
The Italian’s finished just a point behind Juventus in Serie A and again came runners up in Germany.
And it was all too much for Lukaku, who was not present as Inter collected their silver medals.