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Sevilla 3 Inter 2: Lukaku scores costly own goal to hand Spaniards SIXTH Europa League crown in 16 years in thriller

ROMELU LUKAKU went from hero to zero as his late own goal gifted Europa League Kings Sevilla their sixth title.

Diego Carlos’ 75th minute bicycle kick was heading wide before the Belgian stuck a leg out to divert into his own net.

In a final for the ages, the Spaniards eventually prevailed in the competition they have made their own.

The ex-Manchester United man’s night started perfectly, opening the scoring with a penalty to notch his 34th of the season – equalling the club record set by the Brazilian Ronaldo 22-years ago.

But after a stunning debut season at Inter, luck dealt him a cruel blow just as it mattered.

Luuk de Jong, who could not buy a goal in 12 games on loan at Newcastle in 2014, responded to Lukaku’s spot-kick with a stunning headed brace.

And Diego Godin equalised with his own header to cap off a stunning opening half.

But Lukaku, 27, had the last word for all the wrong reasons to leave Antonio Conte’s side crestfallen.

The first-half in Cologne was breathless stuff, making a mockery of those predicting a cagey final dominated by the defences.

Inter were given a penalty inside three minutes after Diego Carlos hauled down Lukaku on the break.

The striker was too quick and powerful for Carlos, who also gave away penalties in the quarters and semis and was lucky not to be shown a red.

And Lukaku made the hapless defender pay, slotting it to Yassine Bounou’s right after a stuttered run-up – making it 11 consecutive Europa League games he has scored in.

But if Conte’s side expected a stroll in the park, they were brought crashing back down to earth on 13 minutes by Newcastle flop De Jong.

After a crisp build-up down the right, Jesus Navas – once of the Manchester City parish – picked out the flying Dutchman’s near-post run.

And De Jong, who got the nod after getting the winning goal against the Red Devils in the semi from the bench, crept in front of Godin to nod past Samir Handanovic.

But he was far from done – putting the Spaniards ahead after 34 minutes with a spectacular header.

Ever Banega put a central free-kick in, and this time the Magpies flop, 29, spun around to the back post to meet it brilliantly and powerfully guide it over the despairing Slovenian keeper.

The game refused to slow down though, and Inter levelled up two minutes later via veteran defender Godin – with another header.

Marcelo Brozovic whipped it in from the right, and the Uruguayan rose above the rest to glance home from five-yards.

After one of the most exciting halves imaginable, the pace eventually slowed.

Diego Carlos, tormented by Lukaku before the break, partially redeemed himself with a great block to prevent Roberto Gagliardini.

And on 65 minutes, Lukaku squandered a golden chance to put the Italians ahead after being put through one-on-one.

The Belgian had plenty of time to think where to put it, but Bounou was up to task and blocked with his legs.

And he was made to rue it nine minutes later when he diverted Carlos’ bicycle kick into his own net.

The defender’s acrobatic effort was struck well but heading wide before the unlucky striker stuck a leg out to send it past Handanovic.

Conte called for Alexis Sanchez off the bench, and the fellow ex-Manchester United forward was inches away from equalising with his first touch.

After a scramble in the box it fell to the Chilean, but his goalbound toe-poke was desperately cleared off the line by Jules Kounde.

But Inter’s race was run, leaving Julen Lopetegui’s side to party long into the night in Germany.

But in a stunning night of football in Cologne, even if it was without fans, it was the Spaniards celebrating a SIXTH Europa League title.

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