EUROPA AND CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE FINAL
EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
SEVILLA 3 V 2 INTER MILAN
Europa League kings Sevilla won the tournament for a record sixth time thanks to victory over Inter Milan in a thrilling final in Cologne.
Lukaku gave the Italian side an early lead from the penalty spot for his 34th goal of the season, extending his record of scoring in consecutive Europa League games to 11.
Luuk de Jong scored two headers, from Jesus Navas and Ever Banega crosses, to put Sevilla into the lead.
Inter were level when Diego Godin nodded in to make it 2-2 in the 35th minute.
The game could not continue at that high tempo, but with extra-time on the cards, there was a twist to come.
Carlos flew into the air to meet a high ball with an overhead kick which was going wide until Lukaku stuck out a leg and diverted it past his own goalkeeper.
It was a first trophy in the managerial career of Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui, whose side are unbeaten since February, a run of 21 games.
The last nine Europa Leagues all have been won by Spanish or English teams, Sevilla have won four, Chelsea two and Atletico Madrid and Manchester United one each. The last Italian team to win were Parma in 1999.
Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg6OTQd14Gc
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
PSG 0 V 1 BAYERN MUNICH
This was a Champions League final like no other, with all the changes due to Covid 19, but the outcome was always going tobe the same come what may, as Bayern Munich were deservedly crowned kings of Europe for the sixth time.
The final was originally scheduled to take place in Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium on 30 May but was eventually staged 85 days later inside the vast, but virtually deserted, Stadium of Light in Lisbon.
Kingsley Coman’s headed goal just before the hour gave Bayern victory and crowned a remarkably swift renaissance under coach Hansi Flick, who initially assumed interim charge after Niko Kovac was sacked in November, and left Paris St-Germain still with an empty space in their trophy cabinet where they want the Champions League to be.
This may have been a revamped knockout format because of the rescheduling forced on Uefa by the global coronavirus pandemic, but it was a success and no-one can seriously question Bayern’s status as worthy winners.
Bayern are the first team to win every game in a single Champions League campaign and produced the performance of the tournament, thrashing Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals as well as demolishing Tottenham 7-2 on their own ground in the group stage.
Of course the biggest game in club football should be played in front of a packed stadium, awash with colour and Uefa’s occasionally ludicrous pre-match pageantry, but this was the reality and the new format worked with drama, goals, excitement and a final that was typically tense and tight.
These last two weeks have had the usual Champions League storylines.
The glorious underdogs of Atalanta were only denied in the closing moments by PSG. Manchester City were stunned by Lyon. No-one will forget the incredible night when one-time rulers Barcelona saw their kingdom come crashing down around them as they were tortured by Bayern, eight goals going in as the Catalan giants threw in the towel long before the final whistle.
PSG paid hundreds of millions of pounds to entice Neymar and Kylian Mbappe only to be undone by Kingsley Coman, who was a youngster at PSG only to see him leave, first for Juventus and then on to Bayern.
Oh, the joys of the game of football
Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWkz3_J3VqI
My predictions on the semi final and final worked out well, hopefully a warm up for my predictions in the upcoming premier league season.
The latest is that the season will start on the 12th September behind closed doors, but by the end of October we are hoping to have 30% of the fans back inside the stadia,
this can change daily due to Covid, but this is the current situation regarding the Premier League.
Have a good week