The qualified teams for the quarter-finals of the Europa League have been determined. Over the past couple of days, several games have been played to round off the second leg – and in some cases, single leg – fixtures across different venues in Europe.
Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Inter vs Getafe and the Roma vs Sevilla could only be played over a single leg as Italy and Spain were among the countries that were hit the most by the first wave of the pandemic, meaning that the first leg of those games were inevitably postponed. The participating club showed their gratitude to frontline officers that have risked their lives since the pandemic started by inscribing the word ‘thank you’ in languages of the countries their each club represents.
Other games went on as planned and the fate of some teams were already sealed before the lockdown. Man United took a 5-0 lead against Austrian club, LASK into the break while Basel’s 3-0 win away to Eintracht Frankfurt meant that they could see themselves in the next round unless there was a miraculous turnaround. Bayer Leverkusen also went to Scotland to pick up a 3-1 win against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers but games involving Wolverhampton Wanderers, Shakhtar Donetsk, and FC Copenhagen were still undecided as they either ended in draws or in the narrowest of victories.
A narrow 1-0 first leg home win for Basaksehir against FC Copenhagen meant that they needed to avoid defeat when they visited Denmark but that wasn’t the case as Copenhagen got a goal within the first five minutes of the match to even the scores on aggregate before storming to a 3-0 win on the night.
Shakhtar Donetsk needed to avoid defeat at home after winning 2-1 away at Volkswagen Arena in Germany in the first leg, what seemed like a dull game came to life in the dying stages as they won the second leg 3-0 with all three goals coming in the last seven minutes of the game.
Manchester United completed their rout of LASK with a 2-1 win despite resting several key players while Basel and Bayer Leverkusen secured one-goal victories over Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers to secure their passage to the next round comfortably.
In the match up of single-leg games involving two teams from Italy facing two teams from Spain, Inter scored in both halves of their match against Getafe to win 2-0 and secure qualification to the next round. The Italian side struggled agains Jose Bordalas’ Getafe but made their experience count by scoring two goals during Getafe’s best periods of the match to secure the win. In the other Italy vs Spain matchup, two first half goals were enough for Sevilla against Roma in a match that saw Sevilla dominate the Italian side completely, hitting the post twice in addition to having a goal disallowed for offside.
The quarter-finals up until the final will see all games played in a single-leg format in a straight knockout format that is expected to run through twelve days. Manchester United will face FC Copenhagen on Monday as Inter lock horns with Bayer Leverkusen the same day. The following day will see Wolverhampton Wanderers taken on Sevilla while Shakhtar face Basel.
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I’m Olugbenga and I have a passion for writing. I enjoy writing works on sports, football mostly and I take pleasure in immersing myself in learning about new and exciting areas. I’ve written for over a decade but about 8 years, professionally. I enjoy watching football and talking about sports in general just as much as researching any given topic in order to create exciting and engaging content.