Monday August 10 2020
Lukaku: 'Barella man of the match'

Romelu Lukaku shrugged off his Europa League record and named Nicolò Barella ‘man of the match’ after the 2-1 Europa League quarter-final win over Bayer Leverkusen.

They will face either Shakhtar Donetsk or FC Basel in the semi-final on August 17.

The Nerazzurri largely dominated the match, but only won 2-1 eventually thanks to Barella and Romelu Lukaku goals, as Kai Havertz pulled one back.

Lukaku has become the first man ever to score in nine consecutive Europa League/UEFA Cup goals, beating Alan Shearer’s eight.

“Records are records, but the victory was so important, Leverkusen are a team with great quality and an excellent coach. We made too many mistakes upfront, as we didn’t finish the chances and could’ve won by more,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italia.

“The defence did a great job and in my view man of the match was Barella, as in recent weeks he has been just fantastic, he’s everywhere.”

There were so many wasted chances from Antonio Conte’s men and odd scenes when the referee awarded them two penalties, only to revoke both decisions via VAR.

“We’ve been clearly improving recently, we just need to finish more of our chances and kill games off earlier. Now we have a week to prepare for the semi-final.

“That is going to be another huge game and we have to be ready.”