Lukaku refuses to be ‘runner up’

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Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku refused to collect his runners-up medal after their Europa League final defeat to Sevilla.

The former Manchester United front man open the scoring inside five minutes from the penalty spot, but found himself on the wrong end of a crazy own-goal that ultimately won the match for their Spanish opponents.

Lukaku put his foot out to try and block an overhead kick from Diego Carlos, unaware that it was going wide. However, his touch changed the ball’s path back goal-wards and left goalkeeper Samir Handanovic helpless to try and stop it.

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Whilst the audacious and spectacular acrobatic strike from Carlos was initially awarded as the defender’s goal, it was soon changed as an unfortunate Lukaku own goal.

Despite the error, Lukaku played a pivotal part in Inter’s road to the final as he scored in eleven consecutive Europa League matches as Antonio Conte’s side came close to European glory.

His strike to give the Italian’s the lead did not last long, as Sevilla striker Luuk de Jong quickly evened it up with an impressive diving header a few minutes later.

The Dutchman was on hand for his and Sevilla’s second of the night with yet another header – this time from a trickier angle and further out as he impressively looped his effort over the defenders and goalkeeper.

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Diego Godin then made it all square with a header of his own before the break to end a fast-paced first half display.

The crucial moment came, however, when Lukaku’s outstretched foot saw the Sevilla players and staff jump for joy with just over ten minutes left on the clock.

The Inter Milan goalscorer had a one-on-one chance during the second period but failed to convert as the LaLiga outfit went on to secure their sixth Europa League title in 14 years.

The aftermath of the defeat was all too much for the Belgian striker, who did not attend the ceremony as the Serie A side were awarded their silver medals.

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