First Leg of second ranked European clubs’ championship quarterfinals were played on 13th and 14th April. The contests were covered by Allsportspk with a crisp analysis. The second or return leg was played on 21st April which decided the lineup for semifinals. Like Champions League, two Italian teams are in the semifinals here as well. Schedule is given below.
1st Leg: 12th May – Juventus (Italy) vs Sevilla (Spain)
2nd Leg: 19th May – Roma (Italy) vs Leverkussen (Germany)
Quarterfinals 2023 – 2nd Leg Overview
First leg results of this year’s quarterfinals had kept the ties quite open. The end results showed that grit and determination would carry the day for the winners.
Match – 1
Feyenoord (Netherlands) 1 – 4 Roma (Italy)
(Aggregate : Feyenoord 2 – 4 Roma)
The Italians were under pressure as they entered the match with a one goal deficit. They went ahead in 60th minute through a Spinazzola goal. However, da Paixao equalized the match for the Dutch side 20 minutes later and it looked that they would make it to the semifinals when Dybala struck in 89th minute for Roma, to keep alive Jose Mourinho’s hopes of winning European silverware. In the extra time, Roma proved better in the end. Al Shaarawy and Pellegrini scored for Roma in 101st and 109th minutes to dump their opponents out of the tournament. They will have to keep their wits about in their semifinals against a gritty German side.
Match – 2
Juventus (Italy) 1 – 1 Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
(Aggregate : Juventus 2 – 1 Sporting Lisbon)
Juvetus had managed to carry the advantage of one goal into the 2nd leg tie. Like the 1st leg, they had 40% possession, made lesser number of shots at the goal but managed to deny their Portuguese hosts entry into the semifinals. Sporting went into lead early through a Rabiot goal in 9th minute. However, Juventus equalized in 20th minute through a penalty scored by Edwards. Despite Sporting dominating the game, they could not make any further inroads into Juventus defenses who booked a semifinal spot against a brimming with confidence Sevilla. Juventus will not be able to tame the 6-times Europa League winners with the level they displayed in the quarterfinals. They need to plan and deliver in the semifinals.
Match – 3
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) 4 – 1 Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium)
(Aggregate : Leverkusen 5 – 2 Union Saint-Gilloise)
Bayer controlled the game mostly. This time they took their chances and kept scoring at regular intervals. Union’s solitary response came in the middle of second half. They stand a good chance to make it to the finals if they play like this. However, they are up against a wily strategist Jose Mourinho, coach of Roma, who is sure to exploit their weaknesses.
Match – 4
Manchester United (England) 0 – 3 Sevilla (Spain)
(Aggregate : Manchester United 2 – 5 Sevilla)
Manchester United surely would have rued the draw in the first leg but they appeared out of sorts against a gritty and focused Sevilla. Though the Englishmen had possession nearly 2/3rd time of the match, their attempts were quite uncoordinated and lacked direction. Sevilla took their chances. En Nesyri scored in 8th and 81st minutes and Bade chipped in with his contribution in 47th minute. MU would need to do a lot of soul-searching after their shocking exit from the tournament. Sevilla showed that they do carry a Europa-luck factor after the 6-Time champions made it into yet another semifinal. They would surely fancy their chances against a timid Juventus.
2023 Europa League | 1st Leg Quarterfinals: Four Matches Decided
Four quarter finals of 2023 Europa League first leg were decided with the second leg matches scheduled on Friday, 21st April.
Match – 1
Feyenoord (Netherlands) 1 – 0 Roma (Italy)
The Italians let slip the home advantage and gave the visitors a considerable edge of an away goal. The Dutch side had more possession and played a better game. Roma missed the chance to go ahead when their captain Pellegrini’s penalty kick hit the goalpost. Wieffer scored for Feyenoord in the 53rd minute which ensured that the visitors take home advantage of an away goal.
Match – 2
Juventus (Italy) 1 – 0 Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
Juvetus had 41% possession, made lesser number of shots at the goal but managed to deny the visitors from Portugal advantage of an away goal. Despite Sporting dominating the game, Gatti shot the ball into the net from a rebound in 73rd minute to send Juventus a step closer to the semifinals. Juventus had an early setback when their goalkeeper Szczesny left the field due to health issue. However, his replacement Perin defended brilliantly. Sporting’s poor form continues. In their last 16 games in the country, they drew 4 and lost 12 games. They will have to put up a better display at the home-leg on 21st April.
Match – 3
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) 1 – 1 Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium)
Bayer dominated the game. They had 64% possession but failed to take their chances. The Belgian visitors scraped a draw within the few opportunities they got. Boniface put them ahead in 51st minute. Though Bayer made nearly twice the attempts at the goal compared with Union, they could manage only a desperate draw when Wirtz scored in 82nd minute through a long, looping shot. Who goes through to the semifinals will be decided at Brussels on 21st April.
Match – 4
Manchester United (England) 2 – 2 Sevilla (Spain)
This match played at Old Trafford, Manchester, between two giants of European Football had promised to be a thriller, and it was. Both the teams matched each other in possession and attacking in an aggressive play. MU went ahead early when Sabitzer, on loan from Bayern Munich, scored in 14th and 21st minutes. Sevilla, the six-time record holders of Europa Cup, could not score till the late equalizers in 84th minute and then 2nd minute of injury time. To compound the misery for MU, both were own goals through deflections of Malacia and Maguire. Let’s see if Sevilla magic prevails or MU make it, on 21st April at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, Spain.
About The Europa League
Played under the auspices of UEFA-Union of European Football Association, Europa is the 2nd ranked football clubs competition played annually. Only UEFA Champions League ranks above it. The competition was founded in 1971 as UEFA Cup and after certain modifications and re-formatting, it was rebranded in 2009 as its current name. European clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their respective national leagues and cup competitions. The winner of this league qualifies for next year’s UEFA Champions League group stage and UEFA Super Cup. Spanish clubs have highest number of titles (13), followed by England and Italy (9 each). The trophy has so far been won by 29 clubs, 14 of which have won it more than once. Sevilla (Spain) is the most successful club with 6 titles to its credit. Based upon a set criterion, clubs qualify for this competition according to their standings in respective country’s integral competitions. Typically, the teams qualifying for the competition are those in the highest places in respective leagues or cups not eligible to participate in UEFA Champions League directly. Since 1998, the final has become a one-off affair and all other ties have remained two-legged. Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany) are the reigning champions. This year’s final will be played at Budapest, Hungary, on 31st May.