Game-by-game, Europa League quarter-final mini-guide

The Europa League reached the quarter-finals. And with a heavy shirt. The draw made it impossible for Manchester United and Juventus to meet, but still put Sevilla on the path of the Red Devils. Despite a poor season, the Spanish club will never be left behind in the competition they excel at. Aver Hasenjola will measure strength against Sporting Lisbon, tasked with knocking out the Premier League leaders, while Feyenoord and Roma will replay in the league final. And there are always underdogs: Union Saint-Ghilois will try to keep the surprise going against Bayer Leverkusen. We’ve put together a quick guide for you to all the clubs that will start vying for a place in the semi-finals this Thursday.

Manchester United VS Sevilla

Manchester United

Rashford, Manchester United (Photo: DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images/One Football)

United needed to respond after leading Liverpool 7-0 and they did so with a superb display, beating Betis in the first leg of their last-16 tie. Previously, they had to undergo a resurrection as they failed to get ahead of Real Sociedad in the group stage despite their evolution under Erik ten Haag. Maybe that’s even a good thing, as a tough and heavy draw against Barcelona gave him the morale and confidence for the rest of the season. A top-four spot in the Premier League is on the horizon, with Newcastle head-to-head. He won the League Cup and led Brighton to the FA Cup final.

Overall, it’s been a very positive season and, despite the Anfield embarrassment, it finally looks to be on track. With the resources and players it has, it could be the main favorite for the Europa League title. Casemiro has lost seven of his last nine Premier League games thanks to two near-consecutive dismissals and fans will be delighted to have him back at Sevilla. He has been one of the main drivers of the Red Devils’ progress. The other is Marcus Rashford, who has fallen from god-level form to extreme form in recent rounds and is still the main hope of scoring goals. Anthony is improving and Scott McTominay is taking his chances. Even Harry Maguire has been brilliant as he breaks into the rotation of England’s biggest champions.


En-Nesyri comemora — Photo: Getty Images/One Football

The disaster was not complete, as Sevilla could always count on the Europa League. For the rest… The first bad result finally led to the resignation of Julen Lopetegui. Monchi called Jorge Sampaoli back to Ramon Sanchez Pisjuan and the Argentine accepted because he didn’t like the way he left to coach the Argentine national team in the Russian Cup. Sampaoli had a string of good results but was unable to advance to the last 16 of the Champions League and even face Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. It didn’t even get past the Copa del Rey quarter-finals and relegation was starting to become apparent, an apocalypse for a club that had established itself in La Liga and was competitive in the European Championship.

Sampaoli’s only successes were in the Europa League before he was sacked following a loss to Getafe in mid-March: a 3-0 win over PSV in the play-offs and a 2-0 win in the round of 16. Fenerbahce. He ended up conceding just a one-goal advantage in the two games combined, but managed the game well despite having to withstand some pressure in Istanbul. After replacing the Argentine, Mendilibar beat Cadiz and beat Celta 2-0 in the opening game, but let the opponent draw. Monchi’s performance in the transfer market is not good, and Sevilla’s lineup is weaker than in recent years. The leader is the experienced Ivan Rakitic. Lucas Ocampos has been on loan from Ajax and has been helping. Other highlights include World Cup semi-finalists: goalkeeper Bono and striker Yusuf Enneciri.

Juventus x Sporting Lisbon


Angel Di Maria’s goal for Juventus (Icon sport)

You can’t say Allegri has created a work of art, but, by leaps and bounds, he has made Juventus competitive. Although it lost to Lazio at home in the last round, if it is not prone to financial fraud and achieves positive results, it will be the runner-up in Serie A. The rise of the old lady was too late to avoid the elimination of the Champions League, leaving only the Europa League. Torino’s draw against Nantes was scary, but France’s 3-0 victory resounded. He successfully controlled the dangerous Freiburg, reached the quarter-finals and is reaching the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.

With Dusan Vlahovic in drought and Paul Pogba injured for a long time, the highlight of the season has been Angel Di Maria. He could have helped Juventus more if he hadn’t been injured so badly, but he manages to play normally now. Brazilian defender Danilo stepped up the defense alongside compatriot Bremer and a young Federico Gatti. Another boy on the rise is midfielder Nicolò Fagioli, who breathes life into midfield alongside Adrien Rabiot and Manuel Locatelli. Even Moise Kean is playing better, with Federico Chiesa returning from a long-term injury to give Juventus more options, and if Juventus do not play well, then at 180 A threat to anyone in minutes of football.


Pedro Gonçalves via Sporting (Photo: Gerardo Santos/Imago/One Football)

Goalkeeper Adam was one of the heroes of the round of 16. He made important saves in both normal time and overtime. He also saved a penalty in the decider as Sporting managed to knock out Premier League leaders Arsenal. In a complicated season, one win gave the Lions a lot of morale. The Portuguese Cup has no champions, has performed poorly in the national league, and is only fourth behind Braga, which is usually a disaster for the trio. The UEFA Champions League was disappointing, being eliminated by just three points after winning the first two games in a balanced competition. The Europa League seemed like a possible salvation.

He beat Midtjylland 4-0 in Denmark’s play-offs before knocking out Arsenal. The team improved at the Emirates Stadium when Pedro Goncalves, still a technical reference, started showing up more. Great coach Ruben Amerim is solid defensively alongside Jerry St. Gard. Juste, Gonçalo Inácio and captain Sebastián Coates, both with the creativity of Marcus Edwards and Francisco Trincao.

Feyenoord vs Roma


Arne Slot is doing well in Feyenoord (Photo: MAURICE VAN STEEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images/One Football)

Arne Slot Coach is getting better and better. The former PEC Zwolle and NAC Breda player took over for Feyenoord last season and finished runners-up in the Union League. Now the Rotterdam club are in the quarter-finals of the Europa League for the first time since winning the UEFA Cup in 2002 and are on track to win the Eredivisie for the second time in a century. Eight consecutive victories in the National League, including a victory over Ajax, opened up an eight-point lead.

The timing was perfect as the Dutch eliminated Shakhtar Donetsk with the most resilient aggregate score (8-2) in the round of 16. Full-back Lutsharel Geertruida took advantage of the last FIFA date to feature for the Netherlands. Midfielder Orkun Cokeru contributed a lot of goals, with 21-year-old Mexican Santiago Gimenez being one of the highlights. He scored 18 goals, including 5 goals in 7 Europa League games. Brazilian Danilo also performed well, coming off the bench.


Paulo Dybala celebrates his goal (Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Roma beat Torino last weekend. Here’s a novelty: a second away win since late October. It doesn’t take Holmes to get to the root of Jose Mourinho’s side’s wobble. Olympic’s strength does not match the away performance. Staying in G4 is enough, because there is no one in Serie A this season without ups and downs. And when the home game is good and the guest is weak, it is the magic weapon for winning the knockout round.

Mourinho is seeking his second European title with Roma after winning his first league title. He will hope Tammy Abraham and Andrea Belotti can find goals again in the replay of the final against Feyenoord. Roma have been reinforced in midfield by Wijnaldum after the World Cup and are relying on goals from Paulo Dybala, who has scored in three of their last four games. Wings, especially the Spinazzola on the left, tend to be a great outlet for the creative department.

Bayer Leverkusen x Union Saint-Ghiloux

Bayer Leverkusen

Moussa Diaby, Bayer Leverkusen (Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Aspirin season is curious. Xabi Alonso took over in early October and it took a few weeks to get used to. He managed to revive his Bundesliga campaign, but it appears too late to be in contention for a Champions League spot, with the striker’s squad withdrawn and a poor February. However, RB Leipzig started to stumble, Freiburg hit their limits and Eintracht simply disappeared. Therefore, Leverkusen is 5 points behind fourth place with 7 rounds to go.

Another way to compete for the main continental competition is to win the Europa League, and German clubs cannot be ruled out as candidates. After helping knock out Atletico Madrid with a third-place finish in the Champions League group stage, he beat Monaco in two thrilling fixtures and was victorious over Ferencvaros. Alonso has experienced players such as goalkeeper Lucas Hradekj, midfielder Kerem Demirbe and defender Jonathan Tah. Patrick Schick’s absence through injury is felt, but the focus is mostly on the youngsters. Moussa Diaby has had a fantastic season and is developing rapidly, while Florian Wirtz is establishing himself as one of the future big names in German football. Ecuador’s defender Piero Hincapie is lauded and strong man Adam Hlozek is one to watch.

union saint gillois

Boniface, da Saint-Gilloise (Photo: LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images/One Football)

This is the biggest surprise of the quarter-finals. Union Saint-Gilloise have almost won the top flight in their return to the Belgian Championship and are enjoying their return to European action. A superb group stage performance ahead of Malmö, Braga and Union Berlin will prove to be a thorn in the sidelines in the knockout stages. It lost to the Germans, when it was already guaranteed the round of 16, but won in the German capital. When they met again in the knockout stage, USG efficiently drew 3-3 on the road and sealed the spot with Chocolate 3-0 in front of the fans.

Since then, the journey of the Belgian Championship has been at a climax, with two wins and one tie. He is fighting again at the top of the table, two points behind leaders Genk with two rounds to go before the end of the regular season. The squad includes midfielder Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Morris and captain Tedi Touma. It’s not the best shooter in the world, and its aim is well balanced. Forward Victor Boniface, hired from Bodo/Glimt, was the most efficient with 14.

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