In scoring a brace en route his side’s Europa League triumph over Inter Milan, Luuk de Jong became the first player to score two headers in a Europa League final. The Dutch striker headed home from Jesus Navas’ cross to level matters after Lukaku had put Inter one-nil up from the penalty spot before rising highest to meet Ever Banega’s cross and in doing so, putting his side ahead. However, the lead didn’t last long as Diego Godin equalized for his side not too long after but Diego Carlos had the last say as the Andalusians edged out their opponents in Cologne.
Speaking after his man-of-the-match performance in Germany, de Jong claimed that scoring ahead was his speciality. I think [scoring headers] is my speciality,” he told BT Sport. “The first cross by Navas was perfect, the second was also a great cross and these headers are really special when you can put them in at the near post. is incredible. We had such tough games all tournament but we played so well as a team. We were like a family, worked together. It didn’t matter who came in. It was tough. We started well but they scored out of nothing. Two goals, an amazing feeling for me. “The manager told me this morning [I was starting]. I told him I am always ready when he needs me and today it worked really well.”
The Sevilla striker also got the decisive goal to complete the turnaround in the 2-1 semifinal win over Manchester United. He ended up scoring three of his side’s last four goals of a tournament which they have now won for a record sixth time. Luuk de Jong may not have had the best of league campaigns where he scored only six goals but he certainly came alive in the latter stages of his side’s European adventure.