And with that, the season is over for Bayer Leverkusen, which grabbed the Champions League football in the Bundesliga and had hoped to qualify for that tournament via Europa League victory.
Where Leverkusen still settled with Rangers FC in the return of the eighth finals, Inter was clearly the parent, although it remained exciting for a long time, because the Italians failed to express the difference in strength in a larger margin.
Inter started the match in Düsseldorf with a lot of power. In the first half Bayer Leverkusen threatened to be defected by Inter. Romelu Lukaku only went to Leverkusen goalkeeper Hradecky at the score of 2-0, but the Finnish goalkeeper saved in the one-on-one situation and kept his team in the game. Immediately afterwards, Leverkusen came back into the game through the 2-1 from star player Kai Havertz.
The margin quickly threatened to become two again in Inter’s favor, when Spanish referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande put the ball on the spot after Sinkgraven had accidentally received the ball on the shoulder. It would have been an unjustified penalty, but where the VAR did not function a few times in the Champions League last weekend, the Spaniard was called to the side this time and the penalty canceled. Lukaku was already behind the ball, ready to make his next.
Lukaku had previously signed for the 2-0 and managed to find the goal against Bayer Leverkusen for the ninth consecutive Europa League game, an absolute record.
The power man was way too strong in a hand-to-hand fight with young defender Tapsoba and scored from the turn. The Belgian also had a large share in the 1-0. Lukaku pushed on well and appeared to score, but Sinkgraven managed to block his bet, after which Nicolo Barella managed to make the opening goal.
Romelu Lukaku has scored.
Ⓒ ANP / HH
After the break, the best chances were still for Inter, but Leverkusen was able to get into the game better, so it remained exciting. The Italians continued to rely on the ironclad defense. Inter took the fewest goals against of all teams in the Serie A this season and had remained five matches without a goal until the confrontation in Düsseldorf.
Good substitute Eriksen
Inter-trainer Antonio Conte had Christian Eriksen come in in the final phase. The former player of Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur showed great things and was at the basis of some excellent attacks, but the sights of the Inter players were no longer sharp, so that it remained exciting until the end. Just before the end, a penalty was reversed for the second time because offensive hands were made by Internazionale. The violation on Eriksen therefore no longer mattered.
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The Inter defense with the solidly playing De Vrij on the other hand held up, so that Inter is two more victories away from the first grand prize since the Italian Cup in 2011 and the first European trophy since the Champions League victory in 2010.